Turning back the tide on heart and circulatory diseases

A recovering patient enjoys some time outside

We’ve published a new five-point action plan - ‘Turning back the tide on heart and circulatory diseases’ - featuring key recommendations to achieve the biggest impact for people with or at risk of heart and circulatory diseases.

The ‘Turning back the tide’ action plan comes ahead of publication of NHS England’s own long-term strategy, which includes a focus on heart and circulatory diseases, which are still the cause of a quarter of all deaths in the UK; on average killing one person every three minutes. However, better heart health outcomes in countries like the U.S., Canada, France and Sweden make it clear we can do better.

Heart and circulatory diseases – taking action now

There are also worrying signs that progress in tackling early deaths is stalling, and the number of people suffering could be rising. Obesity rates are stubbornly high, driving an increase in the number of people with type 2 diabetes, as well as high blood pressure and raised cholesterol. If left undetected and untreated, these conditions could lead to a dramatic resurgence of heart attacks and strokes.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that we break new ground by developing better ways to prevent and detect heart and circulatory diseases earlier. We need to give people access to the best treatments – dealing with the person rather than their illness – and empower them to manage their long-term conditions.

Our five-point plan for tackling heart and circulatory diseases

Now is the time for action. And by focusing on the following areas, we can address these issues head on.

Download turning back the tide

1. Tackling the big population health problems

Reducing the risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases for millions more people with population-level interventions that curb the damage currently being caused by toxic air, addressing the devastating impact of obesity and giving people the support they need to stop smoking.

2. Detecting earlier the major risk factors for heart attack and stroke

Finding and diagnosing millions more people at high risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases due to high blood pressure, raised cholesterol and atrial fibrillation (AF), and giving the right treatment and support so that conditions can be managed.

3. Improving timely access to the best treatments

Stamping out unwarranted variation in access to treatments for people with heart and circulatory diseases such as heart failure, which is often associated with multiple other long-term conditions.

4. Reimagining rehabilitation services

Avoiding thousands of cases of readmission to hospital and improving quality of life for millions of people by reimagining how we support people recovering from critical events such as heart attack and stroke, and those living with the burden of chronic heart failure.

5. Exploiting the potential of technology and data science

Utilising the enormous potential of technology and data science across all of these areas, transforming the way we prevent, diagnose, treat and support those at risk of or living with heart and circulatory diseases.

"If we matched Canada’s levels of early detection and treatment for high blood pressure, we could prevent an estimated 115,000 heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular events in England over the next decade". 'Turning back the tide' report

About ‘Turning back the tide’

‘Turning back the tide on heart and circulatory diseases’ is our framework for beating the heartbreak of these conditions forever. It will require action from medical research funders such as the BHF, from Government, from industry and most importantly from all levels of the NHS.

It’s so important that heart and circulatory diseases have been highlighted as a priority for the NHS’s long term plan in England and we have welcomed the opportunity to contribute this process. It’s a vital opportunity to transform the lives of millions of people.

To find out more about our recommendations download our five-point action plan or email [email protected].