NHS needs bold new approach to change outcomes on heart and circulatory diseases, according to nation's heart charity

26 June 2018        

Category: BHF Comment

The NHS is lagging behind other countries in its treatment of a range of deadly diseases including heart attacks and strokes, according to a new report.

Cardiac rehab nurse

The report - published by the Nuffield Trust, the Health Foundation, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and The King’s Fund - looked at three aspects of good healthcare in the UK and 18 similar countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the USA.

It highlighted the UK’s NHS performs worse than average in the treatment of 8 out of the 12 most common causes of death. This includes the UK having worse than average survival rates for deaths from heart attacks and strokes after 30 days. 

The report was published as part of a series for the BBC to mark the NHS’s 70th birthday.

A ‘bold new strategy’

Simon Gillespie, our Chief Executive, said: “The NHS has made huge progress in transforming survival rates and care for heart and circulatory diseases over the last 70 years. But the UK is now lagging behind many European countries in the early diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of heart attacks and strokes.

“This report is an important reminder that we can’t get complacent. The NHS should prioritise improvements in care for the nation’s seven million heart and circulatory disease patients. We need a bold new strategy that connects risk reduction, disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment and recovery, and takes advantage of emerging technology and research utilising data science and artificial intelligence. With a bold new approach, we can reduce early deaths from heart disease and stroke, and ensure the UK public is given the world-leading care they deserve.”

Additional funding

The report follows the Prime Minister’s announcement of an additional £20 billion a year increase in funding for NHS England by 2023-24. We believe that prioritising the prevention and treatment of heart and circulatory disease should be a priority for the plan on how this funding will be directed.

Click here for the full report