AHSN Network wins award for AF programme

The AHSN Network were recently announced as award winners for our collaborative work of preventing AF-related strokes.

The Network was declared the Centre ‘Best Able to Demonstrate Adherence to NICE Quality Standards for Atrial Fibrillation‘ at a ceremony held at the Houses of Parliament.

The consensus from the judging panel was that this programme has made significant improvements for the AF population taking a whole systems approach to identifying barriers, improving patient outcomes and acknowledges the scope of collaboration required across all NHS settings for implementation of an ambitious national roll out.

Find out more about our AF work: https://healthinnovationnenc.org.uk/what-we-do/improving-population-health/atrial-fibrillation/

For more information contact [email protected]

Background to the AHSN Network AF Programme

In 2015/2016, the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) identified AF stroke prevention as the first national collaborative programme and since then have been working to disseminate best practice in AF detection and management with core aims to:

Detect: increase the detection of AF

Protect: increase the uptake of anticoagulation therapy in patients with AF at risk of stroke

Perfect: Optimise the use of anticoagulants and the anticoagulation pathway

The national programme worked with commissioners to support investment through the provision of smart data, business case models and infographics whilst engaging with stakeholders along the patient pathway for AF, crossing organisational boundaries, improving communication and collaboration to optimise patient care

Increased the opportunity to detect AF by distributing more than 6,000 mobile electrocardiogram(ECG) devices to community settings across the UK, enabling a broad range of staff to more quickly detect and treat patients with AF

Worked with commissioners to embed pulse checks for those over 65 and supported local care providers to host pulse screening events to raise AF awareness

Developed guidelines and a host of resources to be integrated into GP IT systems along with upskilling programmes for frontline staff

Patient resources were created to educate patients about AF and the importance of their anticoagulation therapy

The AF Virtual Clinic model rollout now incorporates training for GP practice based pharmacists on Shared Decision Making to ensure patients are supported when making decisions about their anticoagulation therapy

A framework for implementation of patient self – testing to ensure appropriate, governance, education, training and support is available for those who are self- monitoring their INR

To date, the AHSN Network have worked with the system to identify a further 130,000 people with AF and ensured 149,000 more people with risk of AF stroke are receiving anticoagulation therapy (QOF 2017/18). SSNAP indicates that stroke rate peaked in 2015/16 has fallen year on year since then.

Their 2020, our ambition is for 85% of people with AF have been diagnosed and CCGs will be anticoagulating more than 84% to reduce stroke risk, working towards the national ambition of 90%

Our interventions will prevent over 4,000 strokes, save over 1,000 lives and provide substantial cost savings to the NHS and Social Care.