As part of the Stroke Improvement Programme, a new stroke prevention model will be implemented, which is centred on improving atrial fibrillation (AF) detection, an abnormal heart rhythm in patients, and robust monitoring of people with the condition. According to the Stroke Association AF contributes to just under 20% of all strokes in the UK. We are working with the Stroke Association and Stroke Survivors group to develop the new improvement programme.
The preventative service will involve newly recruited stroke specialists working with GPs to screen patients who may be showing signs that they may have a stroke in the future.
Stroke prevention model includes:
- Improved Detection – to identify patients with AF working more closely with GPs.
- Screening based on common causes of AF- screening will focus on patients with the causes of AF including hypertension and heart disease. Screening will include patients presenting with palpitations, breathlessness, dizziness, chest pain, and also those with increased life risks, such as alcohol, obesity and smoking.
- Patients known to have AF with no anticoagulation treatment - we will introduce software to support the identification of patients with AF, who are not currently being treated, to ensure intervention for AF.
- Review of patients who are receiving treatment but with sub–optimal outcomes - This is the final group where significant improvement is possible. We will ensure all patients are reviewed to ensure optimal treatment.