The Heart Failure Policy Network: Take Action Now on Heart Failure!
On World Heart Day, the Heart Failure Policy Network (HFPN), a unique network bringing together parliamentarians, patients and professionals from across Europe, kick-starts an initiative in the European Parliament, to tackle this serious chronic condition head on.
“Heart failure is the biggest threat to our health care systems. We need to develop national plans which address heart failure before it’s too late,” said Ian Duncan, a member of the network and member of the European Parliament. “This is a condition that will affect one in five of us at some point, yet only 3% of us know how to recognise the symptoms,” he added.
“Heart failure patient outcomes are worse than those for most common forms of cancer. We need to ensure that a multi-disciplinary and patient-centric approach is taken to change this,” said Dr José Ramón Juanatey, member of the HFPN and President of the Spanish Society of Cardiology. “Heart failure is not on healthcare professionals’ radars – yet this is a condition where time is critical – a delay of as little as 4-6 hours after acute onset of symptoms appear, can increase the patient’s risk of death.”
“We have one opportunity to get this right. If we don’t, a tsunami of costs will hit us,” said Nick Hartshorne-Evans, CEO of the patient organisation, Pumping Marvellous. 15 million people currently live with heart failure in Europe. It is also the leading cause of hospitalisation in people over the age of 651 and prevalence is likely to increase by 25% by 2030. “Red flag” symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue and swollen limbs.
The network’s call-to-action and policy toolkit call on decision-makers to take the condition seriously, and improve the management and care of those patients with heart failure. Key demands include making heart failure a national priority, improving diagnosis for those at risk, increasing awareness and education of health professionals with regard to heart failure, and providing high quality, specialist care for patients.
The Heart Failure Policy Network is funded through a grant from Novartis Pharma and St. Jude Medical.
Media enquiries: Uzo Madu firstname.lastname@example.org or 00 32 2 669 1604. Follow the conversation on Twitter #HeartFailurePolicyNetwork.
1 Ponikowski P, et al. European Society of Cardiology WHFA. Heart Failure. Preventing disease and death worldwide. 2014. http://www.escardio.org/communities/HFA/Documents/WHFA-whitepaper-15-May-14.pdf?hot=highlighton
Uzo Madu, 00 32 2 669 1604
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