The British Society for Heart Failure, the professional association for heart failure (HF) care specialises in education and research, improving quality of life and survival for people with HF and their families. Provides expert counsel to policymakers, NHS and governments across the UK and work to improve population health and reduce health inequalities. Heart failure is under recognised, under resourced and affects ~1m citizens in the UK with 200,000 newly diagnosed each year and an estimated further 50% living with yet undiagnosed HF. Common in advancing age, numbers are set to grow exponentially. It is associated with high mortality, morbidity and poor quality of life, it disproportionately affects those most disadvantaged in our communities and is as malignant as the most common cancers. It rarely exists alone, people with HF live with at least 1 other long-term condition, coupled with associated mental health and social needs. As realisation of the threat posed by HF grows, BSH is increasingly invited to advise NHS and Government bodies in England, Wales and Scotland. However, diagnosed and treated early, it is possible to live well with the condition. But there is an urgency. HF is one of the top 10 conditions known to have the biggest impact on health and resources and is predicted to grow by the largest margin of all Long Term Conditions (92%) by 2040. The Covid-19 pandemic shone a harsh light on those with CVD - particularly on HF with tens of thousands fewer admissions to hospital and contributing the majority of excess deaths in the community. BSH lobbied successfully to ensure people with HF were shielded, protected and prioritised in the NHS Long Term Plan and as a vulnerable group needing priority for new treatments.
The 2021 launch of the BSH ‘F Word – Freedom from Failure’ 5yr awareness campaign sought to drive earlier diagnosis of HF, through recognition of the symptoms; Fatigue, Fighting for breath, Fluid build-up/ advising seeking early medical help started the strategy for change. The strategy to recognise the symptoms of HF, identify those at risk of HF and ultimately prevent HF, has provided the foundation for the transformational 25in25 initiative, launched with 45 healthcare organisations in March 2023. BSH hosted a summit which brought together 45+ global organisations intersecting with cardiovascular disease (25in25 Collaborative) from across the healthcare landscape to agree how to reduce mortality of HF by 25% in the first year after HF diagnosis, over the next 25years. We gained consensus on developing a quality improvement initiative through FAST TRACK COMMUNITIES to detect undetected HF, improve population health and reduce health inequalities. We now have a robust plan for implementation that is ground breaking and can help save 10,000 lives per year. We need funding and resources to support these Communities, to provide awareness, education and tailored solutions particularly those in challenging circumstance