Dr Youssef Beaini, who is clinical lead for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate programme and a GP in Bradford, said: “Building on the success of Bradford’s Healthy Hearts, we’re delivering the programme in three phases. Phase one sees us working to help local GPs identify patients with undiagnosed high blood pressure (hypertension), and we estimate there may be up to 18,000 across the region, which can often be an indicator of cardiovascular disease. By equipping local GPs with new coding, which allows them to search their own patient databases more effectively, along with the latest advice and guidance on the most effective treatments, we’ll be able to reduce the number of local people suffering heart attacks and strokes. We also estimate that there’s a group of nearly 40,000 patients across the region, who’ve already been diagnosed with hypertension, that will benefit from simple improvements to their existing medication. In fact, we believe that phase one alone will prevent 285 heart attacks and 421 strokes across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, saving the NHS £8m.”
The positive outcomes from Bradford’s Healthy Hearts, established four years ago by NHS Bradford Districts CCG, include the reduction of unplanned admissions to hospital for stroke and heart attack by 10%.
Dr Graeme Summers, clinical lead for cardiovascular disease at Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG, said: “By working together all the partners in the Healthy Hearts programme will benefit from shared learning and economies of scale. But it’s also important that people realise there’s a lot people can do to reduce the risk factors that lead to cardiovascular disease, such as being overweight, smoking, drinking and having an unhealthy diet. It’s never too late to start looking after your heart and we’re working with the Healthy Hearts Programme to help patients make the kinds of lifestyle changes needed to stay healthy.”