Healthy Hearts Cholesterol Public Engagement

Lead: West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts

Period: 3rd Jun 2019 - 30th Jun 2019

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts would like to know what people in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate area think about the work they're doing to help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

(NOTE: This engagement is led by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts, not the NHS Leeds CCG)

Background

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Healthy Hearts is a three-year local NHS project that aims to reduce the number of cardiovascular incidents, such as heart attacks and strokes, by 10% across our region. They believe this will mean 420 heart attacks and 620 strokes will be prevented, saving the local NHS £12m. In phase 2 of their programme, which is due to launch this autumn, they’ll be concentrating on cholesterol levels.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fatty substance, also know as lipids, that’s mainly created by our own livers, though it’s also found in some of the foods we eat, and it’s vital for maintaining a healthy body.

Simply put there are two types of cholesterol – good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL) – and bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL). If the level of bad cholesterol in your blood is too high it can increase the risk of heart disease, including heart attack or stroke. You can find out more about cholesterol here.

What are the Healthy Hearts team doing?

To try to prevent that from happening, GPs will very often prescribe statins for patients who have high levels of bad cholesterol or who are at risk of a future heart attack or stroke. Statins are a group of medicines that can help lower the level of bad cholesterol by reducing the amount produced by the liver. Evidence has shown that overall some statins have proven to be more effective than others, especially when taken at certain levels.

In phase two of the project, the Healthy Hearts team is equipping local GPs with new coding, which allows them to search their own patient records more effectively, helping them to discover patients who have high levels of bad cholesterol. Alongside this GPs will consider other aspects of their patients health to determine their risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next ten years.

After consulting with senior doctors across the region the Healthy Hearts team is recommending that local GPs make some simple improvements to the medications prescribed to some of their patients. For some patients this might mean that they are prescribed a statin for the first time, while others who are already prescribed a statin may be switched to a more effective one and may also have the dosage changed. GPs will write out to patients to let them know about the changes before they take place.

In addition to this they’re also providing local GP practices and patients with comprehensive advice and guidance on living a healthier life along with information on where to find local advice and support.

How you can help

The Healthy Hearts team is asking you, the local patients, to spend a few minutes of your time to answer some simple questions.   Your feedback will help them understand what local people think about the work they are doing to prevent hearts attacks and strokes. Please note that you will not be asked to give your name. The information you give them will be used to help them deliver the best possible service to local patients.

You can access their questionnaire on the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Partnership website: West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership – Healthy Hearts Cholesterol Public Engagement .

You can find out more about the Healthy Hearts project on their website here: www.westyorkshireandharrogatehealthyhearts.co.uk/.

If you have any questions about this engagement please contact Pete Waddingham, Healthy Hearts Programme Manager, on pete.waddingham@yhahsn.com