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Study heart
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Study: Hundreds more surviving heart failure


Hundreds more people are surviving heart failure through better treatment after being admitted to hospital in England and Wales, a study suggests.

The National Heart Failure Audit found that 8.9% of patients had died in 2015-16, down from 9.6% the previous year, saving around 500 lives.

However, it said there were still too many deaths and too much variation across the country.

Heart experts said more patients should get the best possible treatments, which include access to crucial medicines and being seen by a heart specialist soon after arriving in hospital.

In 2010-11, the death rate was 11.6% and despite a slight rise in 2013-14, the rate has continued to fall.

In 2015-16, 80% of patients with heart failure had been seen by heart specialists and 90% of patients had received a detailed scan of their heart.

It also found an increase in the percentage of patients prescribed three key medicines for heart failure, but admitted that room for improvement remains.

The audit showed that ‘8.9% in-patient mortality cannot be accepted and requires urgent attention within every acute trust admitting patients with heart failure’.

Sir Bruce Keogh, national medical director at NHS England, said: “Increasing numbers of patients are getting specialist help and the full range of treatments thanks to years of world-leading scientific and clinical research and the efforts of NHS staff – the progress highlighted today will be a spur for us to do even more to improve care and survival rates.”

Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This audit shows promising signs that the quality of hospital care for heart failure is improving, with fewer people dying as a result.

“However, it is imperative we continue to close variations in heart failure care across hospitals and ensure more patients receive the best possible treatments.”

Pan European Networks Ltd