Applications open to pilot of the South East London Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Decathlon


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The Health Innovation Network, in partnership with South East London Integrated Care System and King's Health Partners, are launching the Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Decathlon, a lifestyle intervention pilot for people living with hypertension in South East London.

Hypertension, alcohol, tobacco, obesity and mental health, also known as the Vital 5, are key drivers for health inequity, alongside wider determinants of health and psycho-social factors. In addition, hypertension is a key risk factor for heart disease, kidney disease and stroke. At present, in south east London (SEL) of those with known blood pressure aged 79 years and under, only 60 per cent have controlled blood pressure.

Hypertension can be improved with lifestyle change and medication. A small drop in blood pressure can lead to a large reduction in cardiovascular risk. However in SEL, there are no commissioned lifestyle intervention programmes for people living with hypertension.

To address this health inequity and the gap in hypertension self-management interventions, SEL Integrated Care System (ICS) and King’s Health Partners’ (KHP) have funded a pilot of the Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Decathlon Programme. This pilot offers lifestyle intervention for people living with hypertension in SEL.

The CVD Prevention Decathlon is a 10-week structured education programme. It aims to support people living with hypertension to reduce their risk of CVD by improving blood pressure control and other heart related risk factors. The programme includes holistic wellbeing information as well as physical activity sessions and can be delivered as a face-to-face or virtual offering. Of note, the CVD Prevention Decathlon has been successfully deployed in South West London.

The Health Innovation Network (HIN), on behalf of SEL ICS, KHP, Clinical Effectiveness South East London and SEL ICS Cardiovascular Group, is seeking expression of interest (EOI) from prospective SEL primary care networks (PCNs) to pilot the CVD Prevention Decathlon programme.

What does the pilot involve?

In collaboration with our partners Sweat Coin, Xyla, Citizens UK, the pilot will deliver weekly 2-hour sessions, where patients will participate in teams to discover how to best reduce their risks. The pilot will include a variety of behavioural change techniques, including theory sessions, games, discussions, as well as a 45-minute physical activity session that includes a variety of sports. Patients will also have the chance to win “Sweatcoins” which they can redeem in exchange for prizes. “Sweatcoins” are also ‘earnt’ by watching weekly recap videos and participating in quizzes.

As part of the pilot, the structured education programme, delivered through partners at Xyla, is designed to help people living with hypertension:

  • Understand what cardiovascular disease is, and the risk factors;
  • Make small changes to improve health outcomes;
  • Make healthier food choices; and
  • Understand how mood can impact health.

Each week will also include an activity session delivered by a specialist sports facilitator. This will include:

  • The opportunity to become more active through fun and engaging games; and
  • Activity suited to all levels of ability and fitness.

About the CVD Prevention Decathlon

The HIN, in collaboration with KHP and SEL ICS are seeking to identify PCNs interested in participating as pilot sites. A total of two PCNs will be recruited to deliver the Pilot for their population with hypertension aged 79 years and under. The pilot has the capacity of 100 spaces per participating PCN.

How to apply

  • Before expressing interest in the pilot, please read our flyer for more details on the Decathlon.

  • Use the following link to submit your EOI.

  • Expressions of interest must be submitted by close of business on 24 November 2023.

  • Selected PCNs will be notified early December.

  • Advice and support for completing your EOI can be accessed via Claire Torkelson, Project Manager, Health Innovation Network:

Apply now

Ensuring you've read our flyer, please express your interest to the South East London Cardiovascular Disease Decathlon.

Submit EOI

Need help?

For advice and support when completing your application, please get in touch.

Contact us

Applications Open for Second Cohort of the HIN’s Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Fellowship

Doctor checking patient with stethoscope

Applications for the 2023 cohort have now closed. For more information contact

We are launching the second cohort of our Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Fellowship Programme to develop clinical skills and knowledge to help improve outcomes for patients across south London who are at risk of CVD.

With six million people living with CVD in England with a combined cost of £16 billion every year improving outcomes for at risk patients is an NHS priority. This programme will help to speed up the adoption of innovative initiatives to help prevent CVD across south London.

This free programme builds on the first cohort which took place in 2022. It is aimed at nurses, GPs, clinical pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals working in primary care in south London who are keen to develop their skills and knowledge, and champion CVD prevention in their practice or wider Primary Care Network. The Fellowship aligns to local priorities, and supports practices and PCNs in meeting contract requirements (eg Quality Outcomes Framework).

Find out more about last year’s fellowship or watch the video below.

The programme content was very beneficial and helped to focus on the improvements that are required and how I am able to assist in making these improvements. I was able to develop some of my project managing skills.2022 Fellow

What does the fellowship involve?

The fellowship is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accredited and provides free expert clinical advice and quality improvement support to help fellows become CVD Prevention Champions. It will also help fellows to deliver a quality improvement project focused on CVD in their practice or primary care network (PCN). See examples of 2022 projects here.

Running from July 2023 to February 2024, the fellowship will consist of:

  • A series of lunchtime webinars led by experts in a range of areas including lipid management, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, chronic kidney disease and obesity;
  • An in-person day to help develop your CVD Improvement project on 8 September;
  • Ongoing peer and expert sessions to support you in delivering your project, which will run September to December 2023;
  • A final in-person event in to celebrate the work of the Fellowship on 9 February 2024.

How to apply

The fellowship is free. Please ensure you are able to attend all events.

Before applying please read our flyer for more details including requirements of the Fellowship and dates.

To apply please complete this form.

Applications close at 5pm on Monday 3 July 2023. Please note that places are limited and applications may close early if all spaces are filled so do not delay in applying.

Apply Now

The quality improvement training and part of the HIN staff time to support the Fellows in the delivery of an improvement project are funded via a Daiichi-Sankyo grant. The HIN is also applying for further grants/non-promotional funding from other companies to support the final event of the Fellowship programme. 

Working Together to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Supporting the NHS workforce to develop skills and drive improvement is one of the HIN’s top priorities. As part of this we set up the Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Fellowship and now we’re sharing guidance to help other organisations looking to run similar programmes. Sophie Mizen, Project Manager for the Fellowship Programme, writes about what we learnt from running the programme and how you help spread the word.

We set up the Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Fellowship to address an area which is a top priority for the NHS. There are six million people in the UK with CVD and taking action to prevent it is the best way of reducing harm and saving lives. With a total cost to the NHS of £16bn per year, it’s also a more efficient way to tackle the problem than treating CVD at a later stage.

CVD Fellowship Stats

  • 85 participants from all 12 south London boroughs
  • 19 projects in hypertension impacting 21 GP surgeries
  • 14 projects in lipids impacting 22 GP surgeries
  • Three projects in familiar hypercholesterolaemia impacting seven GP surgeries
  • Four projects in atrial fibrillation impacting eight GP surgeries
  • 98 per cent of participants feel more confident in delivering care to patients at risk of CVD
  • 96 per cent are more confident in supporting their colleagues with CVD care
  • 95 per cent think patients at risk of CVD have benefited as a result

The Fellowship is one of a number of collaborative learning opportunities provided by the HIN to develop skills in the workforce and support the delivery of improvement projects aligned to health and care priorities. This supports our objectives of developing the skills needed to power health and care systems of the future, as well as making an immediate positive impact in areas of need.

The CVD Prevention Fellowship ran between April and November 2022, and included clinical webinars from specialists in the field, and collaborative quality improvement (QI) sessions where fellows could gain new skills, share learning and work on their own QI projects. The Fellowship was open to all health care professionals in primary care in south London.

Running the programme presented some challenges – not least because the number of participants was higher than we expected with over 100 initially expressing interest! We also know that clinicians tend to have very limited time, and while the Fellowship was free to join, we were not able to fund back-fill for time taken out of work. As such we had to keep the time commitment to a minimum, and were flexible in our approach to collecting progress updates.

We also adapted our approach to communication channels as we went. Our used of continuous feedback helped us listen to Fellows' needs and adapt the programme accordingly. As such, we switched our focus from quality improvement theory to practical troubleshooting when we realised this would be more beneficial to the Fellows and a more productive use of their time. We also incorporated some additional sessions such as a webinar on behaviour change in CVD and a drop-in clinic with a specialist going through lipids case studies.

The response to the fellowship was overwhelming, with over 80 fellows being upskilled in various areas of CVD and quality improvement. The fellows were required to deliver an improvement project in their practice/primary care network, to apply their new skills and knowledge. As part of the programme 40 quality improvement projects collectively impacting a total of 63 GP practices, representing all 12 boroughs in south London.

Patients positively responded to the work and we received some great feedback on the impact the quality improvement projects had on an individual level:

Thanks for giving me the information about statins. I did not realise that statins had anything to do with protecting the heart. I just thought it was to reduce cholesterol which I have been trying to do by good diet and exercise. Although sometimes I like to enjoy myself a little and eat the unhealthy stuff, I take my atorvastatin daily and I have not felt any side effects. Looking forward to the next blood test.

You can find out more about the patient experience in our case study pack which includes information on all the projects.

Throughout the programme feedback was received on the beneficial impact of education and training. A final feedback survey revealed that 98 per cent of fellows felt more confident delivering care to people at risk of CVD, and 96 per cent said they are supporting colleagues more with CVD prevention. Most importantly, 95% per cent said their at-risk patients have benefited from what they learnt. We also received great feedback from participants – you can find out more in the video below.

We learnt a lot from running the programme and wanted to share this to make it easier for anyone else thinking of running a similar programme. That’s why we’ve put together a guide outlining our approach, learnings and what we would do differently next time. Please share with any individuals or organisations who might be interested.

Find out More

Find out more about the Fellowship and access the resources mentioned in this blog.

Find out more about the CVD Prevention Fellowship.