Action to tackle cardiovascular disease in deprived communities to be extended across Wales
Action to reduce the number of people in some of South Wales’ most deprived communities from dying prematurely from cardiovascular disease will be extended across Wales, the Welsh Government yesterday announced.
The Inverse Care Law Programme was set up in the South Wales valleys – in the Cwm Taf and Aneurin Bevan university health board areas – to identify people at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and to deliver a programme of community-based intervention.
It has helped strengthen the identification of people at risk of developing cardiovascular disease and to support prevention and risk management in primary and community care settings.
The programme is helping to tackle health inequalities by ensuring services are developed where the needs are greatest. It gives people access to the right advice and support which is tailored to people’s needs.
Deputy Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, launched Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s programme Living Well, Living Longer in January 2015.
“Despite improvements in life expectancy in Wales in recent years, we need to do more to address the unacceptable inequalities in health outcomes between Wales’ most and least deprived communities. It is not acceptable that how long you live depends on your postcode.
“We anticipate the roll-out of this innovative programme will result in fewer referrals to secondary care and fewer emergency admissions relating to cardiovascular disease. In the long-term, this should result in a reduction in health inequality and deaths caused by cardiovascular disease.”
The experience from the programmes in Cwm Taf and Aneurin Bevan university health boards will help to support other health boards to develop similar initiatives in their communities. The work will be supported by the heart disease, stroke and diabetes delivery plans, ensuring that prevention of these common diseases is given a high priority.
Dr Gill Richardson, director of public health at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, said:
“Wales has a proud history of cardiovascular disease assessment since the days of Dr Julian Tudor-Hart. It is exciting that programmes to tackle inequities in heart disease, stroke and diabetes in deprived populations are now to be launched across Wales.”
The risk of many conditions, including cardiovascular disease, is increased by factors, such as poor diet, little exercise, smoking and excess alcohol intake.
Victoria Norman, the project manager for Cwm Taf Health Checks, said:
“The engagement with GP practices has been key to the programme. The enthusiasm of the staff to deliver the programme has also been a factor in its success.”
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