Ex­perts hail stroke care study suc­cesses

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Recipe Of The Week -

AS­TUDY by Cheshire Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice – car­ried out by an Orm­skirk lec­turer – shows that a joint cam­paign with the In­no­va­tion Agency has po­ten­tially pre­vented up to 12 strokes and saved the NHS around half a mil­lion pounds in gross treat­ment costs.

The ser­vice com­mis­sioned an eval­u­a­tion of the ef­fect and im­pact of atrial fib­ril­la­tion (AF) and af­ford­able warmth screen­ing as part of its Safe and Well Pro­gramme for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 fi­nan­cial years – with the in­de­pen­dent re­search and re­port pro­duced by Dr Ju­lian Clarke, a se­nior lec­turer at Edge Hill Univer­sity.

The study con­cluded that AF screen­ing, us­ing por­ta­ble de­vices pro­vided by the In­no­va­tion Agency, has po­ten­tially saved 12 lives and an es­ti­mated £550,000 in gross treat­ment costs.

AF is caused by an ab­nor­mal heart rhythm. NHS Eng­land es­ti­mates there are more than 20,000 peo­ple in Cheshire alone with the con­di­tion who are ei­ther not iden­ti­fied or not well man­aged.

As Septem­ber marks Na­tional Atrial Fib­ril­la­tion (AFib) Aware­ness Month, the ser­vice is re­leas­ing de­tails of the re­port to high­light the value of pulse test­ing to test for atrial fib­ril­la­tion.

Head of the Cheshire ser­vice’s Pre­ven­tion Depart­ment, Nick Evans, said: “The Safe and Well Pro­gramme is an in­te­gral part of the ser­vice and has proved time and time again its worth. The find­ings are in­cred­i­ble and sug­gest that not only are the Safe and Well vis­its a worth­while use of the Ser­vice’s re­sources, they have also made a fun­da­men­tal con­tri­bu­tion to the lo­cal health agenda of Cheshire.”

Fur­ther find­ings from Dr Clarke’s study in­cluded:

Us­ing dif­fer­ent of­fi­cial val­u­a­tion as­sump­tions (Depart­ment for Trans­port - cost of a se­ri­ous in­jury), the pub­lic fi­nan­cial ben­e­fit of the Atrial Fib­ril­la­tion work is as­sessed to be £2,500,000;

Ac­tual sav­ings to house­hold­ers re­sult­ing from the Af­ford­able Warmth (fuel poverty) checks were £19,495 (cu­mu­la­tive);

The Af­ford­able Warmth checks have a value be­yond ame­lio­rat­ing fuel poverty. They have the po­ten­tial to re­duce win­ter ill­ness and ex­cess deaths amongst older peo­ple; and,

The Atrial Fib­ril­la­tion and Af­ford­able Warmth checks have been an im­por­tant ad­di­tion to Cheshire FRS house­holder en­gage­ment work and can be found to be a worth­while use of ex­ist­ing re­sources

Gregory Lip, Price-Evans Pro­fes­sor of Car­dio­vas­cu­lar Medicine and di­rec­tor of the Liver­pool Cen­tre for Car­dio­vas­cu­lar Science at the Univer­sity of Liver­pool, said: “I wel­come the pub­li­ca­tion of this re­port. Its find­ings show that a non­med­i­cal agency, such as a fire and res­cue ser­vice, with ap­pro­pri­ate train­ing and pro­vi­sion of ba­sic ECG de­vices, can suc­cess­fully screen peo­ple for atrial fib­ril­la­tion in their own homes.

“Ad­dress­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease is a pri­or­ity for the NHS across Cheshire and Mersey­side. This re­search re­port is ev­i­dence that Cheshire Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice, through Safe and Well vis­its, has made a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to the lo­cal CVD agenda.”

The In­no­va­tion Agency pro­vided the mo­bile ECG de­vices used to test for an ir­reg­u­lar pulse.

Its chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Liz Mear said: “This col­lab­o­ra­tion is an ex­cel­lent ex­am­ple of how or­gan­i­sa­tions can work to­gether to make a real dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives. It’s great to see the ev­i­dence that we are to­gether sav­ing lives and pre­vent­ing long term ill­ness.”

The char­ity En­ergy Projects Plus’s Safe and Well Vis­its are of­fered to res­i­dents who are aged over 65 or who are re­ferred to the Ser­vice by part­ner agen­cies.

You can read the full find­ings from the study on the Cheshire Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice web­site: https://www.cheshire­fire.gov.uk/part­ner­ships/safe-and-wellvis­its

Prof Gregory Lip and Dr Liz Mear have hailed Dr Clarke’s work

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