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‘Community pharmacy are well placed to play pivotal role in preventing deaths from CVD’

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Community pharmacies are well placed to play a role in preventing deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) said Director of NHS Services.

The recent analysis by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) revealed that nearly 100,000 more people with cardiovascular disease than expected have died since the start of the pandemic in England.

Latest figures show that the number of people waiting for time-sensitive cardiac care was at a record high of nearly 390,000 at the end of April in England.

Average ambulance response times for heart attacks and strokes have consistently been above 30 minutes since the beginning of 2022, and in December 2022 they even breached 90 minutes. The target is 18 minutes, though the Government has set a new average target of 30 minutes over 2023/24.

Director of NHS Services, Alastair Buxton, said: “It is concerning to hear that there have been tens of thousands of preventable deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD) since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We share BHF’s desire to see more action on preventing the causes of CVD and, subject to appropriate funding being in place, community pharmacy teams are well placed to play a role in this.

“With more than 1.1 million people receiving a heart blood pressure check in their local pharmacy since October 2021, the Hypertension Case-Finding Service has already begun making a big difference to the health of individuals and supports the NHS Long Term Plan’s ambition for prevention of cardiovascular disease.”

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Current Issue June 2024

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