More patients are surviving heart failure when admitted to hospital than ever before, according to a new study of hospitals in England and Wales.
The National Heart Failure Audit found that 8.9% of patients had died in 2015-16, down from 9.6% the previous year, saving around 500 lives.
The fall in deaths has been attributed to a greater number of patients accessing specialist care shortly after arriving at the hospital. Over the period in question, 80% of those suffering from heart failure saw a heart specialist and 90% had a detailed scan of the organ. The study also found that a greater number of patients were prescribed three key medicines for heart failure.
The audit said: “This year’s report shows modest but important improvements, which are to be celebrated.”
However, although progress has been made, it warned that more needs to be done to ensure a greater number of patients survive: “An 8.9% in-patient mortality cannot be accepted and requires urgent attention within every acute trust admitting patients with heart failure.”
Sir Bruce Keogh, national medical director at NHS England added: “Increasing number of patients are getting specialist help and the full range of treatments thanks to years of world-leading scientific and clinical research and the efforts of NHS staff.
“It is a very significant problem, and we recognise that there is scope for even more improvement – but the progress highlighted today will be a spur for us to do even more to improve care and survival rates.”