Thursday, 26 May 2022
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Thursday, 26 May 2022

British Heart Foundation responds to Health Secretary’s speech on NHS reform

HEALTH Secretary Sajid Javid this week laid out his vision for NHS reform in a speech at the Royal College of Physicians. 

The speech called for more choice for patients, as well as greater personalisation of treatment and care as the health service looks to clear the vast backlog created by the pandemic.

The Health Secretary also highlighted the huge impact that cardiovascular disease currently has on the country. He emphasised the vital role prevention of cardiovascular disease will play in his vision for NHS reform, with a focus on personal responsibility and the role of families in improving health.

Examples of new measures being looked at include greater use of the NHS app so that people can better manage their condition while waiting for care, and also the further roll-out of electronic records in the health service.

While the speech touched on a range of important issues that British Heart Foundation say they think are vital for the health service to address, they add successful prevention of cardiovascular disease depends on more than personal responsibility – the charity feels we must ensure we build a healthy environment for people to live in.

The speech did not give more detail about how the Government intends to address acute NHS workforce shortages which threaten to undermine progress in improving health and care for cardiac patients.

No patient left behind

Responding to the Health Secretary’s speech, British Heart Foundation’s Chief Executive Dr Charmaine Griffiths said: 

“It is positive to see the Health Secretary recognise the importance of preventing cardiovascular disease in his speech. This focus will be essential if the Government is to achieve its ambition of increasing healthy life expectancy by five years.

“It is also promising to see a focus on personalised care, patient self-empowerment and more support to help people better manage their health. However, for this vision to be a success we will need to see a fully funded workforce plan in place. Any reform must also ensure that no heart patient is left behind and everyone has equitable access to treatment and care.

“There are over six million people with heart and circulatory diseases in England who are depending on this vision being made a reality. We will be keeping a watchful eye as more detail emerges and look forward to working to ensure the best possible healthcare for heart and circulatory disease patients.”

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