Nearly one million people in the UK are living with heart failure, and this is set to rise by 50% over the next couple of decades. Despite the incidence of heart failure being as high as the four most common cancers put together, awareness of the threat it poses is low and the need for support for those who live with it, is high along with its socio- and health economic impact. There is however hope and optimism in the advances we are making in understanding and treating the condition.
The British Society for Heart Failure, are a group of clinicians committed to beating heart failure. Our work is focused on raising awareness around heart failure, educating health care professionals of its importance and driving forward improvements in treatment and the way we deliver care. The key goal is to ensure people with heart failure can have a better quality of life and live for longer, at home and out of hospital. We are confident that by maintaining the focus on heart failure awareness, the delivery of excellent care irrespective of where patients live in the UK and supporting research and innovation we can look forward to a future where we can predict, prevent & cure heart failure, one patient at a time.
BSH founding member and past President, Professor John Cleland, Glasgow University and Robertson Centre for Biostatistics summarize our ethos in a simple diagram which shows a distinct shift to better results and lives for those living with heart failure and in his recorded message (vignette on the USB memory stick).
But, before we can fully realize our aims, there are many moving parts to coordinate and one of those is to reduce the inequality in care across the NHS for those with heart failure. There is wide variation in the standards and type of care people with heart failure receive. We have had an amazing response and engagement with our campaign for heart failure awareness week 2019 during which we released onto our twitter feed vignettes of BSH members giving their ‘hopes for heart failure’ #hopesforheartfailure. Equity of care is a resounding theme.
Finally, current Chair of the Society Dr Paul Kalrahopes you appreciate the beauty of the rose you have received from the BSH. For us it encapsulates ‘matters of the heart’ with all the structural intricacy and vulnerability yet as this bud blossoms so does our hope for the future.