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National Cardiovascular Disease Prevention System Leadership Forum

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) affects around seven million people in the United Kingdom (UK) and is a significant cause of disability and death, affecting individuals, families and communities. CVD is responsible for one in four premature deaths in the UK and was responsible for 26% of all deaths in England in 2015.

In March 2017, NHS England (NHSE) published the Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View (5YFV), which highlighted their increased commitment to the early detection and preventative action for people at high risk of CVD.  Public Health England (PHE) and NHS RightCare’s commitment to support the implementation of preventative interventions at scale was also highlighted in the document. 

PHE has therefore committed to an exciting programme of activity to deliver on its 5YFV commitments. As part of this, in May 2018, the National Cardiovascular Disease Prevention System Leadership Forum (CVDSLF) was established to tackle CVD prevention. Its work builds on that of the Blood Pressure System Leadership Board (BPSLB), which was disestablished in February 2018.

Convened by PHE, the CVDSLF is the accountable body for the collective programme of work on CVD prevention. It provides a platform for members to align priorities, work collaboratively and help enable system leadership on CVD prevention. It has focus on the three major risk factors – blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (AF), and cholesterol.

It brings together representation of key interested parties across a range of sectors and professions who have interest, expertise, influence and responsibility relating to the programme aim to improve the prevention, early detection and management of high blood pressure, AF and high cholesterol.

These three conditions are a major cause of heart attacks and strokes, so by effectively diagnosing and managing them, we can prevent a large number of CVD events, see a reduction in morbidity and mortality, as well as seeing a return on investment in a relatively short time frame (<3 years).

Over the next year, one of the Forum’s key objectives is to establish and publish a national level of ambition and commitments on each of the three key risk factors, which will provide system leadership, encourage further collaboration, and galvanise local action.

Links to the work of the CVDSLF and BPSLB:

Tackling high blood pressure: from evidence into action sets out the shared ambition to improve the prevention, detection and management of high blood pressure by:

-    providing a compelling case to tackle high blood pressure

-    highlighting specific issues on the blood pressure pathway where there is greatest opportunity for transformation

-    demonstrating some roles for a wide range of organisations

-    setting out what key partners are already pledging to do in support of our ambition

PHE's blood pressure resource hub brings together case studies, data and guidance to support public health and NHS commissioners, and those providing services, to tackle high blood pressure in their local area.

PHE's Healthier Lives Hypertension Atlas presents performance data on blood pressure risk factors, prevalence, detection and care. This data is available at local authority, CCG and general practice level.

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The team does not and cannot offer clinical advice. If you have any urgent medical enquiries we urge you to contact your GP, or NHS Direct at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or by calling 0845 4647. In an emergency call 999