Lipid Optimisation and Familial Hypercholesterolaemia

The NHS Long Term Plan states that the biggest area where the NHS can save lives over the next 10 years is in reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD causes a quarter of all deaths in the UK and is the largest cause of premature mortality in deprived areas.

The national AHSN Network CVD programme focuses on Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) detection and lipid optimisation to reduce death and disability due to premature CVD. Read more about our work on FH and lipid optimisation, including our child-parent screening programme and the roll out of inclisiran.

The programme complements the AAC Rapid Uptake Products (RUP) lipid programme (to March 2023) which focuses on: High Intensity Statins, Ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors. Read more about RUP.

Tackling Cholesterol Together – a free education programme for primary care

Tackling Cholesterol Together is the national professional education programme supporting the NHS England and NHS Improvement 3-year lipids workstream.

The programme supports healthcare professionals to address under diagnosis and under treatment at scale and use new models to manage cholesterol.

Tackling Cholesterol Together is delivered though videos, podcasts, regular webinars, expert clinics and online modules.

Blood pressure optimisation

From January 2022 to March 2023, the West of England AHSN delivered a blood pressure optimisation programme, aiming to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and vascular dementia in patients with hypertension.

As part of the programme, the West of England AHSN supported Primary Care Networks (PCNs) to implement the UCLPartners Proactive Care Framework for hypertension, to optimise clinical care and self-management of people with the condition.

Read more about our blood pressure optimisation programme.

Using Proactive Care Frameworks

We supported the piloting of a package of tools and resources designed by UCL Partners to enable primary care teams to continue to effectively manage patients with long term conditions during and post-COVID-19.

Frameworks focus on the management of Atrial Fibrillation; high blood pressure; high cholesterol; type 2 diabetes; asthma and COPD.

Read more about our work on proactive care frameworks, and access our free implementation resources.

Atrial fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cause of an irregular heart rhythm and the cause of 20% of strokes. Despite the serious impact, many people are unaware they have the condition. It occurs more often in people aged over 65 or with other long-term conditions, and it increases a person’s risk of stroke fivefold. Some people do not experience symptoms, which increases the likelihood of their AF remaining undiagnosed and places them at greatest risk of a stroke.

Since 2017, the AHSN Network has been driving the spread and adoption of AF best practice across England to improve care and outcomes for patients.

Read more about our AF work in the West of England (from 2018 to 2020).