NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group commissioned a review of patients following data reported showing a significantly higher rate of AF to the expected norm. The aim was to reduce AF related strokes by effectively identifying and managing patients to ensure they were on the optimal medication to treat their AF.
Working closely with local clinicians and nurses, over 4,500 patients from 38 GP practices were screened and assessed, by a team of pharmacists from Interface Clinical Services, a company that works in partnership with the NHS, between November 2017 and June 2018.
Following the completion of the programme, a 22% reduction in strokes was noted compared to the previous year which resulted in a prediction that 114 strokes in the Tameside and Glossop region could be prevented each year. In terms of cost savings, with the current average societal cost of a stroke estimated at £45,409 in the first 12 months plus £24,778 in subsequent years, this could account for an annual NHS cost saving upwards of £1.5 million and an overall societal cost saving of almost £5.2 million.
The programme was considered to be so successful, that it won a Healthcare Pioneer award from the Atrial Fibrillation Association, a body which recognises innovative and positive advances in diagnosis, anticoagulation therapy and treatment for AF.
Tameside Council Executive Member for health, Cllr Eleanor Wills, said: "The outcome from this review has been encouraging. Knowing that we have identified local people at risk of stroke, helping them to get the right medication they need to prevent them from having a stroke is invaluable, as well as preventing unnecessary hospital admissions."
Around 1.2 million people in the UK have atrial fibrillation (AF), a type of irregular heartbeat which can result in blood clots forming in the heart, increasing the risk of stroke. This common heart disturbance is responsible for up to one in five strokes and therefore needs to be properly diagnosed and managed.
For more information about the condition visit the NHS website at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/atrial-fibrillation/
Picture caption L-R:
Heather Palmer (Tameside & Glossop CCG), Cara Afzal (Health Innovation Manchester), Mark Owen (CCG) and Jack Birchall, Pharmacist and Development Lead, Interface Clinical Services receive their AF Healthcare Pioneers Award.