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East Lancashire practices rated outstanding for their Atrial Fibrillation and Hypertension projects

Five East Lancashire practices have had their quality improvement projects on Atrial Fibrillation (AF), Hypertension and Improving Access, recognised as outstanding.

Practices in East Lancashire submitted quality improvement projects as posters for peer review and the following practices were recognised as outstanding:

  • Dill Hall Surgery in Accrington (Hypertension)
  • Dr Bello’s Surgery in Accrington (Hypertension)
  • Padiham Group Practice in Burnley (Atrial Fibrillation)
  • Pendle View Medical Centre in Nelson (Atrial Fibrillation)
  • Blackburn Road Medical Practice in Accrington (Improving Access)

Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that causes an irregular pulse and is an important treatable risk factor for stroke.  Many people do not have symptoms and it is often only discovered during routine tests.  Symptoms can include; tiredness, breathlessness, being less able to exercise, feeling faint or lightheaded and chest pain.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) can have no symptoms but it can lead to life threatening conditions such as a stroke or heart attack if untreated as high blood pressure puts an extra strain on blood vessels, the heart and other organs.  Eating a healthy low salt diet, exercising, cutting back on alcohol and stopping smoking can help to prevent and lower high blood pressure and reduce your risk of developing atrial fibrillation.

Having either Atrial Fibrillation or Hypertension increases the risk of premature death, stroke and heart failure and reduces the quality of life.  East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has a higher number of patients with these conditions in comparison to other CCG’s.  If you are concerned about either of these conditions and think you may be at risk, it is important to speak to your doctor.

Dr Richard Daly, Clinical Director of Partnerships at East Lancashire CCG and local GP at St. Nicholas Group Practice in Burnley, said:

“Hypertension- or high blood pressure affects one in three people in the UK.  However there are simple lifestyle steps you can take to reduce your blood pressure and avoid the knock on effects which are potentially life threatening.  We know that our Practices are working very hard to support patients to reduce the risks associated with hypertension and atrial fibrillation so it is great to see this recognised”   

East Lancashire CCG has provided funding for two of the practices to send representatives to the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) conference in Liverpool in October 2017.  East Lancashire CCG is planning to hold a further event early next year.

Professor Umesh Chauhan, GP and Clinical Cardiovascular Lead at NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group and Mackenzie Chair of Primary Care Medicine at University of Central Lancashire, said:

“Each year GP practices in East Lancashire focus on particular aspects of their practice to see if they can improve the quality of the care or the outcomes that patients experience.   These projects are reviewed by GPs across the area and this year, the projects of five GP practices were recognised as outstanding due to the improvements that they had made.  By sharing their experiences, other practices can benefit from and adopt this good practice.”