Treatment Standards Taken 'To Heart'

A leading medical charity has broadly welcomed a new heartcare 'framework' for Northern Ireland.

It is said to map out what heart, stroke, diabetes and kidney patients can expect from the health service.

Andrew Dougal, Chief Executive of NI Chest, Heart and Stroke, (pictured here) said: "At last, people suffering from cardiac and stroke illnesses can see, in black and white, what they are entitled to in terms of treatment and what timescales they can expect when waiting for that treatment.

"We welcome the framework – something we have been lobbying for since 2002," he commented.

Yesterday, the NI Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey published the new standards for the treatment and care of people suffering and at risk from cardiovascular disease.

There are 45 standards in the Cardiovascular Framework all of which promise equal treatment and care from the health service for people who currently have or are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease is the class of diseases that involves the heart or blood vessels, including diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
News Image
The Minister said: "This framework, setting out the standards people can expect if they suffer from diseases of the cardiovascular system, is the first in a series of service frameworks to be published. It also includes standards relating to the diagnosis and ongoing care and support for people with diabetes.

"It is a well known fact that diseases involving the heart such as angina, heart attack and heart failure account for one in three deaths here.

"We also know that 76,000 people suffer from coronary heart disease, while around 60,000 adults are living with diabetes and almost 4,000 people in Northern Ireland are affected by stroke.

"As part of the current budget, I have invested £12million in cardiovascular services, £14million in stroke services and £11million to expand renal capacity.

"Much of this funding will support the delivery of the cardiovascular framework. I am also investing £1.54million in general medical services for screening people for excessive alcohol consumption as well as patients who are at risk of developing peripheral vascular disease," he said.

GPs and nurses in local surgeries will help people to give up smoking and will provide advice to patients on how to reduce their blood pressure.

The local surgery will routinely manage heart failure and stroke patients. GPs will also provide advice to people who are at risk of developing peripheral vascular disease.

The Minister added: "Some of the risk factors of this type of disease are hereditary but an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and excessive smoking and drinking are major causes of cardiovascular disease.

"People can make healthier choices about what they eat and engage in physical activity to reduce the risk of developing serious illnesses," he concluded.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 February 2011
Know Risks Of Heart Attacks, Says Mayor
A leading medical charity is urging men and women in their 30s and 40s to pay more attention to their heart health because they are failing to share in the downward trend of deaths from cardiovascular disease.
01 February 2002
UK coronary heart death rate drops by 10 per cent
Coronary Heart Disease deaths have dropped by a staggering 13,000 cases in just two years in the UK according to the latest figures from the British Heart Foundation. Better medicines and improved surgical techniques taken together with a decrease in smoking have contributed to the 10 per cent decline - but an estimated 2.
31 May 2002
Lottery health funding programme welcomed
Three of the biggest killers in the Province are to be targeted in the latest round of £13.5 million funding from the National Lottery. The programme, which will build on the work of projects under the New Opportunities Fund’s Healthy Living Centre and Cancer programmes, will focus on coronary heart disease stroke and cancer; and palliative care.
03 March 2015
Children's Heart Surgery In NI Ends
Northern Ireland's Health Minister Jim Wells has confirmed he has formally accepted proposals for a single, all-Ireland children's heart surgery centre to be based in Dublin. The decision by Minister Wells means the current service at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) is to stop.
12 February 2009
Politicians Issue Heartfelt Advice
As Valentine's Day looms a group of politicians have joined forces in urging people to 'have a heart' by supporting the work of a major coronary care charity.
19 April 2013
Ballymoney Has Highest Risk Of Heart Disease
Ballymoney has been revealed as the area in Northern Ireland where people are most at risk of dying from coronary heart disease. A new report from the British Heart Foundation has found that Tameside in Greater Manchester is the UK's heart disease capital, but that the County Antrim town is the most at-risk area in Northern Ireland.
26 March 2015
Higher Rates Of Heart Disease Among Older People In NI
Older people living in Northern Ireland are more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease compared to those in the Republic of Ireland (RoI). They are also far more likely to have a limiting long-term illness and disability, according to a study funded by Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI).
10 August 2018
Sports Direct Buys House Of Fraser For £90m
Sports Direct, owned by Mike Ashley, has acquired 59 of the House of Fraser stores in the UK for £90 million. The deal was announced just after the chain went into administration after talks with creditors fell through.
29 May 2009
'Keep Taking The Tablets', Says NICHS
A leading medical charity has warned people at risk of heart attack not to stop taking aspirin, after researchers said it should be taken "only by those who had already had a heart attack or a stroke".
13 August 2003
£9m funding to battle NI's biggest killers
The battle against three of Northern Ireland’s biggest killers is being boosted today thanks to a £9 million investment from the New Opportunities Fund. The National Lottery ‘good cause’ distributor has pumped more than £8.
17 August 2001
Breakthrough drug could dramatically reduce heart disease
A combination of heart drugs could help save 10,000 lives each year in the UK, say scientists. The treatment, costing £1 per day is especially significant for Northern Ireland, which has some 7,000 people dying from heart disease each year in Northern Ireland, one of the worst records of coronary heart disease in the western world.
19 July 2007
Heart failure figures decrease
The latest British Heart Foundation statistics have shown a promising decrease in the percentage of both men and women under 75 dying of heart failure. The figures show a major 71% decrease of coronary heart disease over the last 20 years.
21 September 2011
Politicians Slim Down To 'Stop the Spread'
A cross-party group of MLAs have signed up to an eight-week programme to lose some weight and improve their lifestyles.
20 June 2007
Changing habits could improve health
The Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland has said this is the decade to encourage people to change their eating habits and lifestyles. In his first report as Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride, said: “While the health of the population is improving, not everyone is benefiting from these improvements.
26 January 2005
Older people urged to cut salt intake
Older people could cut their risk of a stroke by up to a third and their chances of having a heart attack by almost a quarter by reducing the amount of salt in their diet, the Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke Association (NICHSA) said today.