Greater Manchester, National

Atrial Fibrillation

Detect, protect and perfect

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of irregular heart rhythm. In Greater Manchester, Atrial Fibrillation detection and treatment is one of the areas we are working to improve.

In England a large number of individuals are unaware they have AF, and some people with known AF do not receive optimal treatment, resulting in avoidable strokes. AF-related strokes represent a significant burden to patients, carers, the NHS and social care.

The AHSNs collectively identified that the spread and adoption of AF best practice across the AHSN Network could make a stepped improvement in care outcomes, leading to a reduction in AF-related strokes across England. Health Innovation Manchester is working to improve detection and treatment of Atrial Fibrillation in Manchester.

Based on proven best practice across the AHSNs in recent years, 14 initiatives have been selected for spread and adoption through our national AF programme, supported by our community of practice of regional AF clinicians and managers to share learning and amplify impact.

Spanning the AF clinical pathway, our national programme is drawing on this shared experience and intelligence to ‘detect, protect and perfect’.

We are rapidly increasing the detection of AF through the use of manual pulse checks or mobile ECG devices. Early detection of AF will allow the initiation of protective anticoagulation therapy.

We have distributed mobile electrocardiogram (ECG) units to GP practices, pharmacies and other community settings across Greater Manchester and Eastern Cheshire. This technology detects irregular heart rhythms quickly and easily, enabling NHS staff to refer patients for the appropriate follow-up and treatment.

We are increasing anticoagulant therapy, in those diagnosed with AF and who are clinically indicated, to reduce the risk of stroke.

We are optimising anticoagulation therapy in people newly diagnosed and those with existing AF.

Case Studies

Wendy Westoby Manchester AF

Patient Story: Wendy Westoby

Raising awareness of AF

Health Innovation Manchester donates Atrial Fibrillation Detection Devices to Cheshire Fire Service

Collaborative working with the Fire Service

Heart checks included in Safe and Well visits in Cheshire

Impact of the programme

Preventing 1,033 strokes and saving 258 lives in Greater Manchester

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