Celebration over a service that should be standard

After reading this commentary below from this is Bath we are surprised and concerned with the slant of this article as it seems as though there has been some ground breaking progress made with the availability of the BNP test when the BNP test (Brain natriuretic peptide) should be made available across all areas of the UK. We are however pleased that this seems to be an initiative made by GP’s. Taking a neutral stance but is this the sort of spin we should expect from the “New NHS?” We also hope that the implementers below realise that if the reading is above 400 then this should mean an automatic referral for an Echo-cardiogram within 2-3 weeks of the results via NICE guidelines which will ultimately put strain on the Hospital Services. Lets hope they have planned well. Although you do wonder who wrote this as ECG doesn’t mean an Echo-Cardiogram??!

Article – published by “this is Bath” (visit the publication at this is bath)

–GP’s who are taking the reins of the NHS in Bath have revamped heart treatment to save patients from undergoing unnecessary hospital scans. The new venture will see patients with symptoms of heart failure being offered a blood test at their GP surgery instead of being automatically referred to the Royal United Hospital.

Blood will be analysed for an enzyme which is only present if the muscles of the wall of the heart are put under significant strain. Patients get their results within 48 hours, and only if the blood test is positive are they now referred to the RUH for an echo-cardiogram (ECG).

This will save people from an unnecessary hospital scan and an anxious wait, and is likely to save the NHS locally up to £60,000 a year through better use of resources. RUH clinical lead in cardiology Dr Jacob Easaw and Dr Ruth Grabham from Newbridge Surgery worked closely together to create the new service.

Dr Grabham is the clinical director of the new clinical commissioning group, which will take over local health and care planning from the NHS BNES primary care trust when it is abolished in April next year. She said: “We want to use this opportunity of clinically-led commissioning to improve services for patients.

“This new pathway for diagnosing heart failure will significantly reduce anxiety for a lot of patients. Now, a simple blood test could rule out the problem in a matter of days. A blood test is also much cheaper than a hospital outpatient appointment, so this new service shows it is possible to change services, improve patient experience and save money all at the same time.” Dr Easaw said: “This partnership will lead to improved early diagnosis of heart failure, and this means as cardiac specialists we can focus more of our attention and resources on those patients who need our skills the most.

“We will see high-risk patients earlier than in the past which means treatment can be more effective. It also avoids unnecessary scans and worries for those people who the blood test shows do not have heart failure.”

The change is the first significant local effect of the shake-up about to take place in the running of the NHS. Although many bodies representing clinicians across the NHS are deeply concerned about the Government’s Health Bill, the new commissioning group says getting GPs more involved in prioritising care makes sense.– (finish)

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This entry was posted on Saturday, February 11th, 2012 at 5:09 pm and is filed under Symptoms of Heart Failure, What you’re not told.
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