In England there have been significant improvements in mortality rates for coronary heart disease (CHD) with an early mortality rate per 100,000 of 42.4. Within the South West the mortality rate is 34.8. The prevalence of coronary heart disease within the South West Clinical Network region is 3.4% compared to 3.3% across England (Cardiovascular Disease Profile, Public Health England, August 2014).

The focus for the cardiac element of the SW CN work programme relates to redesigning urgent and emergency care and 7 day hospital services as per Priority 6 within the NHSE Business plan 2016/17. National directives stipulate:

  • Those with more serious or life-threatening emergency care needs such as stroke or heart attack should receive treatment in centres with the best expertise and facilities to maximise the chances of survival and good recovery.
  • People who are admitted to hospital in an emergency should receive the same high quality care 7 days a week. Hospitals will begin to implement the four clinical standards across five urgent network specialist services of vascular, stroke, major trauma, heart attack and children’s critical care.

Urgent and Emergency Care Networks (23) have been established across the four regions of NHS England. As part of the overall programme to transform urgent and emergency care, in line with the findings of the urgent and emergency care review, clinical networks are expected to focus on transformation of cardiovascular elements of the urgent and emergency care pathway.