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Clinical Articles, News & Views

NHS Improvement support cardiac rehabilitation services

NHS Improvement has recently launched a new online publication designed to help cardiac rehabilitation (CR) providers and commissioners address issues related to the access, quality and take up of CR services.

“Quality, innovation and value in cardiac rehabilitation: commissioning for improvement” is being unveiled at the British Cardiovascular Society conference in Manchester.

The online publication draws upon the NHS Improvement Heart Team’s work leading implementation of the Department of Health’s Commissioning pack for cardiac rehabilitation in England, together with other NHS Improvement activities in cardiac rehabilitation.

It offers a single point of access to a comprehensive range of resources including detail on some of the most cutting edge approaches to CR in England.

These resources comprise practical evidence-based tools and techniques that will help CR  providers to meet the benchmarks set by the revised Standards and Core Components for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Rehabilitation (2012) published by the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation in March.

NHS Improvement Director Julie Harries says: “Despite all the evidence supporting the fact that CR enables people with heart conditions to live longer and healthier lives, some people still do not have access to services. Where CR is available, the majority of patients are either not offered the service, or are simply unaware of the benefits that CR can offer in restoring health more quickly and so decline the support.

“In part this situation is due to the complex nature of commissioning CR which involves bringing together a range of services, in a variety of settings, provided by different people and organisations. The flexibility and responsiveness of services to patient needs may also contribute to the overall picture.

“Our new publication offers resources to help to identify and address the barriers to access, and take up of services. It draws together the many examples of excellent practice and innovative ways of improving outcomes for patients inspired by project teams and committed practitioners across England.”

Jenni Jones, President of the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation has welcomed the new publication saying that the organisation is “delighted to endorse the new on-line resource. This is a truly comprehensive and practical resource that provides highly useful support to providers and commissioners in ensuring high quality care in cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation.

“The digital case studies, video interviews, interactive clips featured together with real-world practical examples and top tips draw together many examples of innovation and excellence and offer invaluable support in the implementation of the BACPR Standards and Core Components.”

“Commissioners and providers should find this comprehensive and practical resource invaluable as they strive to develop the rehabilitation services needed to deliver the best outcomes for patients,” said Professor Huon H Gray, Interim National Clinical Director for Cardiovascular Disease (Department of Health).

Of the estimated 2.5 million people in the UK with heart disease, only 42% currently take up CR and of these only 1% was referred because of diagnosis of heart failure the National Audit for Cardiac Rehabilitation (NACR) has revealed. Despite the overall success of the DH initiative to improve commissioning in CR, the availability and quality of services still varies across England.

Published on: June 25, 2012

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