The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has unveiled that the number of people being admitted to hospital due to heart failure has risen by a third in the space the last five years.
It says that heart failure admissions have reached record levels in England, rising from 65,025 in 2013/14 to 86,474 in 2018/19 - as much as a 33% increase, a figure three times as fast as all other hospital admissions, which have risen by 11% in the same period.
The research also suggests that nearly eight in 10 people with heart failure are diagnosed after a hospital admission, even though four in 10 had visited their GP in the previous five years with symptoms such as breathlessness, swollen ankles and exhaustion.
Heart failure poses a “growing and increasingly complex challenge, not only for people living with the condition, but for those who care for them too.”
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director of the BHF said that “It’s concerning to see yet another increase in hospital admissions – an indication that how we diagnose, treat and care for these patients could be far better.
“There is no cure for heart failure, but with access to the right services and support, people can go on to have a good quality of life for many years. We need to find new and improved ways of delivering this care, including in communities rather than hospitals. Doing so will improve thousands of lives and relieve the unsustainable pressure that heart failure is putting on our health service.”
Along side the news, the BHF has announced the launch a new £1million Hope for Hearts Fund to test innovative ways of caring for people with heart failure. Innovations could include more effective use of technology and data, new service models or new ways of engaging people in their own care.