Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) contributes to one in five strokes in the UK and is associated with greater disability and mortality that non AF-related strokes1. Having AF leads to a significantly increased risk of stroke, heart failure and renal disease and increases mortality when compared to those without AF7. While two thirds of people with AF experience symptoms, one third do not3, with many only becoming aware of the condition when they have a stroke4. AF is relatively easy to diagnose, and treatment with anticoagulants can reduce the risk of stroke by two thirds5. Despite this it is estimated that up to 500,000 people in the UK have undiagnosed AF6, and with an ageing population, it is predicted that the number of people aged >55 years living with AF will more than double by 20608.

We aim to work with local CCGs and providers to:

  • Support improved detection of AF in the population
  • Improve the quality of life of adults with atrial fibrillation
  • Promote initiation of appropriate anticoagulant therapies in those at risk of stroke
  • Optimise anticoagulation therapy to ensure maximum reduction in stroke risk with minimum risk of bleeding and allow patients to be involved in decision making as per NICE guidance (QS93 July 2015)9
Sources

Projects

Mobile ECG Device Report

Single time point case finding for Atrial Fibrillation: A review of methods of delivery and devices

Atrial Fibrillation patient optimisation pilot programme (Virtual Clinics)

Commissioning of an effective anticoagulation patient pathway

Atrial Fibrillation detection

Improving the diagnosis and management of AF in older adults with additional needs

Pan-London AF Programme and Toolkit

The Team

Laura Semple

Programme Director, Diabetes and Stroke Prevention

Laura studied modern languages at Cambridge and joined the NHS as a management trainee in 2009. Since then she has held various hospital management roles at Moorfields Eye Hospital and District General Hospitals, as well as working in commissioning and at the Department of Health. In 2016 Laura became the first healthcare manager to volunteer for a substantial period at Connaught Hospital in Freetown with the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership, where she worked for 6 months. Since her return in 2017 Laura has continued to lead the HIN Diabetes and Stroke Prevention programmes as well as a secondment role in 2018-29 as Programme Director for the King’s Health Partners Institute of Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology.

Rod Watson

Senior Project Manager, Stroke Prevention

Rod graduated from University with a Master’s in Public Health. He has worked for a leading national charity, in local government and for the NHS specialising in health improvement in the alcohol, substance misuse, healthier weight and sexual health fields. His hobbies include travelling the world for serendipity and adventure.

Faye Edwards

Senior Project Manager, Stroke Prevention

Faye began her career as a Podiatrist and during her clinical role she had a specialist interest in Diabetes wound management. She has worked in a service improvement role for the Royal Marsden, and the South West London Cancer Network. Since starting at the HIN Faye has led projects in type 1 diabetes and also also works on the Pan London Atrial Fibrillation project.

Alex Lang

Darzi Fellow, Stroke Prevention

Alex is the Darzi Fellow in the Stroke Prevention team and is leading the mobile ECG device project across South London. Prior to this secondment, Alex is a stroke specialist dietitian working at St Thomas’ Hospital over the past 9 years. He is a dietetic manager, lecturer and represents the British Dietetic Association at the RCPs Stroke Working Party.

Dominic Norton

Dominic completed an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, before working in the third sector on Physical Activity and Sport. Prior to joining the NHS he worked for a leisure trust, overseeing intervention projects which encouraged people from under-represented groups to be more physically active.

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