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News Report Page 9 of 12
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Innovation Agency exceeds national stroke prevention targets

AROUND 80 strokes will be prevented in the North West Coast each year thanks to a programme to detect and treat irregular heart rhythms. The Innovation Agency, the Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast, has exceeded its targets to detect people in the Region with atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is responsible for approximately 20% of all strokes, which can leave survivors with devastating disabilities. In the UK, 1 million people are known to be affected by AF and an additional 422,600 people are undiagnosed. Treating the condition costs the NHS over ₤2.2 billion each year.

Making sure people with AF are given the best treatment; usually blood thinning medication to prevent clots (anticoagulants); can more than halve their risk of having a stroke. In 2015, the Academic Health Science Network set ambitious targets to improve the detection, diagnosis and treatment of patients with AF.

Here in the North West Coast, data showed that:-

24,210 people were estimated to have undetected AF.

► 76% of people with high-risk AF were treated with anticoagulation therapy.

The Innovation Agency played a key role in the nationwide:- 'Detect, Protect, Perfect' campaign and was tasked with detecting and diagnosing 85% of those 'missing' people with undiagnosed AF and ensuring 84% of patients with AF, known to be at high risk of a stroke, were adequately anticoagulated.

The latest Quality Outcome Framework (QOF) data for 2018/2019 revealed that the Innovation Agency achieved a 98% detection rate against a Public Health England target of 85%, making it the highest performing Region for this national programme and exceeding the national target for 2029. Plus, 84% of our Region's high risk AF patients are now receiving anticoagulation therapy; an increase of 8% since 2015/2016.

The Innovation Agency adopted a partnership approach to engage the whole healthcare system in helping to detect people with AF and improve care. It has:-

► Distributed over 500 mobile ECG devices to healthcare teams across Primary Care and Community Services to facilitate opportunistic pulse testing.

► Trained over 70 volunteer AF Ambassadors to test pulses in their communities.

► Trained fire and rescue services in:- Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and Cumbria to perform pulse checks during community safe and well visits, resulting in over 10,000 opportunistic pulse tests and over 1,000 people being signposted for further investigation.

► Implemented 2 AF Collaboratives involving 136 GP practices and 9 CCGs to deliver a quality improvement programme to Primary Care. This has resulted in 2,300 people being diagnosed with AF and given anticoagulation therapy.

This collaborative approach has demonstrated significant, sustainable improvement in the detection and management of AF for the Region.

Dr Julia Reynolds, Associate Director and Head of Programmes at the Innovation Agency, said:- "We are delighted that all the hard work in our Region in testing pulses, has resulted in more people being identified with AF and treated to prevent potential strokes. We have already started to see a reduction in AF related strokes."

Picton project to tackle housing standards and vermin

Team Picton: The staff who will be working on the project based at Picton Children's Centre

A 2 month pilot scheme to improve safety standards and waste management in privately rented properties in part of Liverpool gets under way next week. From Monday, 17 February 2020, the Council's Landlord Licensing and pest control teams will be working with Mersey Fire and Rescue Service and Picton Children's Centre to offer advice and support to local residents to tackle a variety of issues.

Picton has been chosen because Council data shows 65% of privately rented houses did not comply with Landlord Licensing standards on their 1st inspection, and 20% had the most serious type of hazard such as problems with electrics, a lack of smoke alarms or serious damp. Pest Control Officers will be working with Landlords and residents to give them support on the best way to deal with rodents and carrying out baiting where necessary.

Staff from Liverpool Street Scene Limited (LSSL) will be offering advice and guidance on the best way for people to present their waste, as many of the houses are still on black sack collections. And Mersey Fire and Rescue Service will be installing smoke alarms in properties that do not currently have them.

Picton Children's Centre has been chosen to host the scheme as it is a well used and welcoming hub at the heart of the community, accessed by many local residents. Funding for the pilot has come from the Government, and if successful it will be rolled out in other areas of the City.

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for housing, Councillor Lynnie Hinnigan, said:- "We know from the data gathered by our Landlord Licensing team that Picton has a large number of privately rented properties which are not up to the required standard. They also have other historic challenges due to the fact they have narrow alleyways and are still on black sack collections. This is about us really targeting a specific area and putting a number of different organisations in 1 place that we know is really well-used and trusted by the local community. The aim is to really make a difference for residents over the next few weeks, tackling hazards in their homes to make them safer, as well as other systemic issues. By concentrating a number of partners at the Children's Centre we believe we can use it as a gateway to a variety of services. At a time when we have fewer resources, this could be a model of working that we can roll out elsewhere."

Councillor Liz Parsons, Cabinet member for communities and partnerships and the manager of Picton Children's Centre, said:- "Most of the local community access services here at the children's centre so we are really well placed to be at the heart of this project. Some families simply don't know where to turn to deal with issues in their home, or are worried about being evicted by their Landlord if they complain, so we can act as a broker to introduce them to Council staff and other partners who can help them."

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