Collaboration to combat cholesterol
A project is under way in the North West Coast to tackle the potentially fatal condition of high cholesterol.
The two-year programme is a collaboration between the Innovation Agency and pharmaceutical company Amgen to improve health outcomes for people with raised cholesterol who have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The North West region has the highest rate of CVD-related deaths of people aged under 75 in England – 20 per cent higher than the national average.
Around 300,000 people in the region have dangerously high cholesterol levels, but only half of them are taking medication to control their cholesterol, leaving more than 150,000 people at a very high risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
The programme – Control Cholesterol: Collaborating to Reduce Risk – will take a quality improvement approach to deliver improved health outcomes.
It aims to assess and potentially intervene sooner to prevent people with raised cholesterol from suffering a CVD event, such as a heart attack or stroke, and support them to remain as healthy as possible.
The programme will work with commissioners, primary care networks and GP teams, to develop solutions that not only save lives and improve health outcomes but also deliver cost and capacity savings.
Improving treatment for patients and encouraging them to manage their own conditions should reduce hospital admissions and so alleviate pressure on capacity.
Dr Phil Jennings, Medical Director of the Innovation Agency, yesterday said:
“We have previously led successful programmes to tackle the risk factors for cardiovascular disease, atrial fibrillation and high blood pressure.
“We’re very proud of our record in this area and the collaboration with Amgen will help us continue in the same direction by identifying people with raised cholesterol, which is a major cause of heart attacks and strokes.
“There’s no question that tackling cardiovascular disease in our region is a very high priority. Our hope is that the programme will quickly identify people who are most at risk and start to improve outcomes quickly.”
Dr Tony Patrikios, executive medical director at Amgen UK and Ireland, yesterday said:
“As the front line of the NHS, primary care plays a critical role in identifying patients at high risk of suffering cardiovascular events, and ensuring they are appropriately treated or referred on for timely treatment and optimal management.
“This collaboration brings together the collective scientific expertise, clinical experience, and deep understanding of cardiovascular disease of Amgen and our NHS partners, to provide a meaningful contribution to the NHS in achieving its Long Term Plan ambition of preventing up to 150,000 avoidable cardiovascular events over the next 10 years.”
The project launch coincides with National Cholesterol Month, a campaign to make one million more people aware of cholesterol and its management.
Control Cholesterol will use software developed by Imperial College Health Partners – the Innovation Agency’s fellow Academic Health Science Network in London – to identify gaps in the management of cholesterol, assess the number of people at risk of CVD and so develop solutions.
The collaboration will then develop new models of care in Lancashire and the Liverpool City Region to start with, piloting the approach with a number of CCGs.
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