Alison Scott, Senior Market Development Manager Heart Failure | Cardiac and Vascular Group (Medtronic Ltd)

“Heart Failure accounts for 2% of the total NHS budget and 70% of the costs are due to hospitalisation. Heart Failure is the commonest cause of all hospital admissions in patients aged over 65 years of age and each time a patient is admitted to hospital it costs the NHS around £4000, timely access to indicated treatments can significantly reduce this burden.

Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy (CRT) reduces morbidity and mortality in selected patients with heart failure and is strongly recommended in international guidelines. A Survey by the European Society of Cardiology showed considerable variation in guideline adherence and large differences in patient selection, implantation practice and follow-up.

Currently there is no pragmatic UK data demonstrating adherence to NICE Technology Appraisal 314 (Implantable cardioverter defibrillators and cardiac resynchronisation therapy for arrhythmias and heart failure). Potentially this leaves an “access treatment gap” meaning that patients are not receiving uniform treatment across the UK.

Medtronic as an industry partner were keen to address this issue and support NHS hospital trusts, Primary Care and importantly patients by providing improved identification of Heart Failure patients in need of further optimisation of care and better referral pathways. Medtronic sought the service of Inspira Health to develop a solution, this was a comprehensive 5-phase audit cycle that could deliver practice-based Heart Failure audits structured around criteria outlined within NICE TA314, to enable patients currently sitting within the primary care setting to be flagged, optimised and treated before hitting the front door of the hospital in a “crisis situation”. An important addition to this service was the opportunity for an initial virtual data review by a Heart Failure Specialist from which those patients deemed suitable were invited for a face to face review in the community setting, delivering treatment close to the patients home, taking specialist care into the community allowing patients to be managed in a planned, scheduled format ahead of a crisis. This service has improved patient pathways delivering efficiencies and savings and is well aligned with GIRFT (Get it right first time) and the NHS 10 Year Plan. Patients often bounce around the healthcare system at a significant cost, getting sicker and struggling to find the right help and support. Medtronic were looking to partner with a third-party provider that had the same goals and ambitions and having been impressed by the excellent results and services Inspira Health had previously demonstrated, we have been absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to work closely on this program. Inspira have provided an outstanding professional service that has achieved impactful and life changing results, fulfilling and delivering our partnership goals.”