Improving AF detection in high-impact settings

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People with Atrial Fibrillation (AF) are at increased risk of stroke, but a gap in detection means thousands of people across south London are not benefiting from potentially stroke-preventing anticoagulation treatment. Older adults are at greater risk, but AF is not always symptomatic, which means they may not routinely receive a pulse rhythm check to detect their AF. NHS Digital estimates that of the expected 64,000 people in south London with AF, over 21,000 (32 per cent) are undiagnosed.

From 2019-2020, the Health Innovation Network supported 30 GP practices across south London, four residential care homes in Lambeth and Southwark and three south London-based NHS Trusts to improve the detection and management of atrial fibrillation in these high-impact settings. The cardiovascular team has published three reports detailing their work with flu vaccination clinics, care homes and clinical stroke teams. Through their work, an estimated 5,072 participants received pulse rhythm checks and 93 participants trialled mobile ECG patch technology to improve clinical pathways for patients with stroke and Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIA). Existing NHS and care staff were trained on how to efficiently check pulses for irregularity using mobile ECG devices, as well as reduce hospital visits and significantly improve the turnaround time and pathway for ambulatory ECG monitoring using adhesive ECG patch technology. Explore now:

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