A collaborative programme to prevent heart attacks and strokes in North East London has been shortlisted for Medicines, Pharmacy and Prescribing Initiative of the Year at the HSJ Awards 2023. The team developed a novel pathway to identify people at risk of heart attack and stroke, ensure they are taking the most suitable medication, treat them closer to home without the need for a hospital referral, and improve access to new therapies.
The collaborative initiative is led by Barts Health NHS Trust, with North East London Integrated Care Board, the Clinical Effectiveness Group (CEG) and UCLPartners. It brings together a multidisciplinary team of specialist hospital pharmacists, hospital consultants, GPs and primary care pharmacists to ensure comprehensive and coordinated care.
The team identify patients with heart and circulatory diseases using CEG tools and the UCLPartners Proactive Care Frameworks, which are supported by CEG patient record searches. Specialist pharmacists prioritise patients for review and agree an action plan for each person, with a focus on optimising medications to lower cholesterol (using lipid modification) and prevent blood clots (using anticoagulants). A multidisciplinary team meet weekly to review complex cases.
The shortlisting adds to the programme’s prior recognition, including first place in the AF Association Healthcare Pioneers Report 2023 and an HSJ Patient Safety Award shortlisting in 2022.
The initiative puts NHS England’s ‘Core20 PLUS 5’ approach to tackling health inequalities into action. One of the five areas for focused improvement is control of blood pressure and cholesterol for people living in the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods.
Following the successful implementation in the London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge, more pharmacists have been recruited to expand the programme to the rest of North East London.
“Really appreciated the thorough explanation on my treatment choices, addressing my concerns with support for my medicines and other services that I can have and avoid another heart attack” - Patient