Heart care horror as pandemic disruption causes 30,000 ‘unnecessary’ deaths | Science | New

A charity has sounded the alarm over an additional 30,000 heart disease patient deaths due to major ambulance delays, inaccessible care and huge waiting lists amid the Covid-19 pandemic . The British Heart Foundation carried out an analysis which showed that since the Covid outbreak in the UK, heart patients are dying unnecessarily, with an average of more than 230 extra deaths per week above death rates from heart disease planned.

According to NHS figures, it took ambulances in England an average of 47 minutes and 59 seconds in September to respond to emergency calls for incidents including suspected heart attacks.

But in August, the response time was much faster, taking 42 minutes and 44 seconds on average, well above the 18-minute target. According to the BHF report, there is also a “vast backlog of urgent cardiac care”, which has skyrocketed by 50% since the start of the pandemic to nearly 350,000 people.

Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan, Associate Medical Director at BHF, said: “Far too many people continue to face long waits for urgent cardiac care, which puts them at higher risk of becoming sicker the longer they go. await, with potentially devastating consequences.

“Delays on such an extreme scale likely result in preventable emergency admissions, permanent heart damage, disability from heart failure and premature death. There are not enough NHS staff to cope with the ever-growing tide of heart problems, and those who remain are overwhelmed, overwhelmed and on the verge of leaving.

Speaking on the backlog, Dr Babu-Narayan previously said: “Timely cardiac treatment saves lives. Yet too many people continue to face excruciatingly long waits for potentially life-saving cardiac care, even for heart attacks where every minute counts. This is important because tragically, many more people die from cardiovascular disease than you might expect.

“Urgent action by the new Prime Minister is now needed to prioritize cardiovascular disease and prevent more lives from being needlessly lost to what remains one of the nation’s biggest killers. As a first step, committing to an NHS-funded workforce plan now will help reduce future pressure on health services and prevent the loss of further lives.

The NHS has called for a workforce plan to ensure there are enough people working in the health service to support patients as best they can.

The health service’s website says this will ‘ensure we have enough people with the right skills to help care for patients now and in the future, improve retention efforts for nurses to continue their careers in the NHS and enable our workforce to use new technologies. ”.

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The NHS has also stressed that the long-term plan will require health care that is more personalized and patient-centred, more focused on prevention and more likely to be delivered in the community, outside of hospital.

In an earlier report, the BHS warned that it could take up to three to five years for the backlog of cardiac care to return to pre-pandemic levels, unless the government takes decisive action as soon as possible.

BHS chief executive Dr Charmaine Griffiths said: ‘Life-saving heart tests and surgery cannot be delayed – long delays cause anxiety and put people’s lives at risk. The voices of people with heart and circulatory conditions need to be heard as the government considers the steps needed to tackle the backlog.

The charity argues that the backlog can be solved with a substantial long-term investment, which it says will build the capacity to solve the problems of people in care with heart and circulatory conditions.

The BHS has also called for an increase in the number of cardiac nurses, cardiac physiologists and other specialist roles so people get the specialist care they need.

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The charity also argued that better support for heart patients as partners in their own care while they wait for crucial treatment.

But with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak set to make public spending cuts to fill the £40billion black hole in the government’s budget, there were fears the NHS could be starved of vital funds.

However, Mr Sunak said funding for health services must be prioritized as “difficult decisions are being made on spending”. It came after NHS bosses called for £7billion in extra funding to fill the black hole in next year’s budgets caused by rising inflation. .

A review of 2021 spending by the Treasury said the NHS budget in England would rise from £151.8bn in 2022-23 to £157.4bn in 2023-24 and £162.6bn in pounds sterling a year later. The Treasury added on Tuesday that those numbers would not be reduced in the fall release.

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