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Cost-saving pilot for heart failure treatment revealed


9 June 2015

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A pilot scheme delivering a common heart failure treatment out of hospital saved NHS organisations £16,274 (on average) in two years, it was revealed today.

A pilot scheme delivering a common heart failure treatment out of hospital saved NHS organisations £16,274 (on average) in two years, it was revealed today.

The programme, set up the British Heart Foundation, gives heart failure patients intravenous (IV) therapy at home or in a community clinic. It enabled 79% of patients to avoid hospital, and saved 1040 in-patient bed days at a collective saving of £162,740 for the trusts and health boards involved.

Fluid retention is one of the most common symptoms of heart failure, diagnosed in around 550,000 people in the UK with many more thought to be affected. As the condition progresses oral treatments (diuretics) can stop working, so many need to go to hospital to get IV therapy, staying there for 13 days on average. This treatment alone accounts for 2% of all NHS bed days.

Catherine Kelly, director of prevention, survival and support at the British Heart Foundation said: “IV diuretics is a ground-breaking initiative that has the potential to help hundreds of thousands of patients remain close to home rather than spending a cumulative two million bed days in hospital each year.”

Nurses were given specialised training and the pilot proved safe and viable, with 93% satisfaction from carers and 100% satisfaction from those receiving the treatment.

Caroline Senior, who led the scheme at NHS Leeds Community Healthcare Trust, said: “When we started doing this project we took every possible step to ensure that the quality of the treatment we were providing was to the highest standard and comparable with what a patient would receive in hospital.”

The 10 NHS organisations that took part in the pilot were NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Aneurin Bevan Health Board, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Dudley Community Services, South Durham and Darlington Community Health Services, East Sussex Hospitals Trust, Nottingham Citicare Partnership, Nottingham West Consortium, and Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership Trust.

 

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