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Malcolm's Story

Malcolm's Story

Unwarranted Variation Report

Wednesday 18th September 2019

Today, we launch the Unwarranted Variation Report and we believe that the recommendations in this report can help to remedy the problem of inequalities of access to treatment and highlight opportunities in delivering optimal treatment of heart valve disease.

As the Chief Executive of Heart Valve Voice, I am lucky enough to work on a daily basis with patients who have been diagnosed with, and effectively treated for the condition. Sadly, many people with heart valve disease in the UK go undiagnosed, and access to effective treatment is variable across the country. Our mission is to improve the diagnosis, treatment and management of the condition by raising awareness of the need for timely detection and intervention, to ensure all patients receive appropriate care and support no matter where they live.

The OxVALVE Study reported that for people over the age of 65, the prevalence of heart valve disease will increase from 1.5 million people currently, to double that in 2046 and to as many as 3.3 million people by 2056, representing a 122% increase.

However, significant variation in the diagnosis, treatment and management of heart valve disease exists across the UK, which means some patients are not so fortunate and experience delays in diagnosis and poor treatment, which can seriously affect their long-term prospects. The quality of a patient’s treatment should not be dependent on where in the country they live and how effective or ineffective a patient pathway is delivered.

We have seen a number of new technologies made available to valve disease patients on the NHS. The technology involved in procedures such as Aortic Valve Replacement (AVR) Mitral Valve Replacement (MVR) and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVI) have significantly improved outcomes, allowing many patients to return to living normal, active and symptom free lives.

Today, we launch the Unwarranted Variations Report and we believe that the recommendations in this report can help to remedy this problem and by delivering optimal treatment of heart valve disease, rather than increasing the burden on the NHS, can actually help to save costs in the longer term, by keeping patients out of hospital and living independent lives. Given the burden of heart valve disease, which is only set to increase, it is critical that action is taken now to address these issues.

Watch our animated video that shows Malcolms story of how his treatment could have taken a different path https://youtu.be/6S7m9ajocR4!

Read the full report here.