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Call for the NHS to transform patient care in heart disease

The UK’s first cardiovascular Patient Bill of Rights has been launched by the British Cardiac Patients Association (BCPA) to sit alongside the NHS Constitution, in a bold move to highlight the needs of heart disease patients around the UK and to fight for a standardised level of care to be delivered by the NHS.

Members of Parliament, clinicians and patients gathered at the Houses of Parliament on 14 January to call for the NHS to overhaul its cardiovascular patient care standards in line with the Bill’s recommendations.

The government is set to miss targets for reducing inequalities in circulatory disease (which includes heart attack and stroke) while death rates from heart disease still remain higher in the UK than in much of western Europe.

The publication of the Bill has been welcomed by clinicians, such as Professor Michael Kirby, Visiting Professor to the Faculty of Health and Human Sciences at the University of Hertfordshire, who has also worked as a GP, on several NHS advisory boards, and as editor or the Primary Care Cardiovascular Journal (PCCJ).

“We have long been in need of a benchmark such as this Bill to help cardiovascular patients understand the level of care they should expect, and to help primary care trusts (PCTs) identify where they are falling short in providing these fundamental patient rights”, said Professor Kirby.

“We are delighted to see the BCPA take the initiative in providing what should prove to be both an important reference for cardiac patients in England and an invaluable tool for clinicians and commissioners as they strive towards improving cardiovascular care”.

British Cardiac Patients Association