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Over 100 people participated in our free ECG/Pulse Check Event
Southern Tutors sponsored Surrey Arrhythmia Support Group's first pulse check event in the Ashley Centre, Epsom on January 23rd 2015.
Dr Richard Bogle, Consultant Cardiologist at Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust, and Chris Crockford CEO of Cardiocity led the team who carried out the ECG health checks. Health checks were performed using AliveCor iPhone App and Cardiocity’s RhythmPadGP, a simple USB connected lead1 and lead6 screening tool.
The event was held to raise awareness of Heart conditions, particularly Arrhythmia, and encourage people to be more conscious of their health generally. People were treated to screening using both technologies and several heart problems were identified, allowing patients to go to their GPs for further advice and treatment where appropriate.
Jane Race, Chair and Founder of Surrey ASG said “The event was a huge success and identified several heart conditions in patients. We are very grateful to Dr Richard Bogle and Stephanie Cruickshank, both from Epsom and St Helier Hospital, for screening over 100 people today, in Epsom’s Ashley Centre.”
AF Activity in Surrey.
By Jane Race (Public Lead and Chair of Surrey ASG) and Rosemary Najim (Patient Lead Surrey ASG)
Following a diagnosis of AF last year, it became clear that the local AF pathway was sadly lacking. This mirrors many patient stories around the country.
Surrey Downs CCG was in the process of re-designing the AF pathway, amongst other Cardiology pathways, and so we were asked to help with this work.
Since then the CCG has involved us with a lot of other AF related activity including the AF project being undertaken by South east Coast network, the prevention of stroke work-stream in Surrey and Models of Care work in Surrey.
Much of the information we are contributing to these work streams comes from the AFA and Jo Jerome has been always ready to offer advice about the most effective way to try and change the local response to AF so that patients receive improved treatment and much needed help.
We were asked to attend a GP education event where we got the opportunity to speak to 200 GPs about what an alternative, “one stop shop” rapid treatment centre would look like- we were able to distribute lots of information including the example of best practice gathered by the AFA.
We stressed the urgency of improving anti-coagulation- in Kent, Surrey and Sussex, upwards of 45% of AF patients do not receive anti-coagulation, a third of all strokes are AF related and yet 94% of GP surgeries have the GRASP tool available.
On Wednesday 16th July we held the launch of the Surrey Arrhythmia Support Group, details at http://www.surreyasg.co.uk and were delighted that so many people attended that we had to borrow chairs from many other rooms – fortunately we have been able to move the venue to Epsom General Hospital’s Post Graduate Medical centre for future meetings so we won’t have this problem
We had an excellent presentation from our medical lead, Dr Richard Bogle, consultant Cardiologist from Epsom and St Helier Trust, and he spent a long time answering questions after the talk.
We hope this support group will serve many needs – urgent ones like the lady who attended and who, despite having already had two TIAs, is only on Aspirin at present but was able to be advised to return to her doctor to arrange anti-coagulation, and other needs such as mutual support and exchange of information.
We are looking forward to future meetings where we have already had speakers’ agreement to talk on subjects such as anti-coagulation and ablation.
New local ideas in response to changed NICE guidelines for Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke Prevention.
The new NICE guidelines, issued on 18th June 2014, stress that patients with irregular heartbeats, Atrial Fibrillation, must be seen and treated much more quickly. They should, where appropriate, be given anti-coagulation medication to bring down the high risk of stroke, which result from untreated Atrial fibrillation.
NICE also stipulates that patients should have a personalised package of care.
Jane Race and Rosemary Najim, have started a new patient support group. The Surrey Arrhythmia Support Group, (SurreyASG) for this condition, and the launch meeting will be at Epsom Town Hall on 16th July at 5pm.
They were, therefore, very pleased, when attending an All Party Parliamentary meeting at the House of Commons, on 18th June, where the NICE Chairman Dr Campbell Cowan set out his intentions for patients, to hear our local SDCCG Cardiology lead, Dr Simon Williams, respond by agreeing clear pathways are needed. Dr Williams confirmed that Surrey Downs CCG will provide a rapid access diagnostic clinic so patients are treated swiftly.
Dr Richard Bogle, Clinical Cardiology lead at Epsom and St Helier hospital, who also attended the meeting, then put forward a plan for a ‘2 weeks to treat’ National policy.
Jane Race, Chair of SurreyASG says “We hope this will be taken up nationally, and that, in the meantime SDCCG will implement a ‘one stop shop’, rapid access clinic, where patients can be seen and treatment, particularly anti-coagulation where appropriate, is started within two weeks.”
This, combined with more detection of Atrial Fibrillation through pulse checks, will dramatically reduce the number of avoidable strokes.
Dr Bogle has kindly agreed to be the medical lead for the group. More information can be found at: www.surreyasg.co.uk