29th May 2018

New Vale of York Healthy Hearts programme launched

A new campaign to help improve heart health among Vale of York residents has been launched.

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has launched Healthy Hearts to reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack among people considered to be most at risk.

Healthy Hearts also aims to reduce the number of people dying prematurely from heart disease or other circulatory disease.

The ambitious project, which aims to reduce the number of people who die from cardiovascular disease by at least 10% in the next five years, focuses on three main areas:

Reducing cholesterol – By ensuring patients are on the most effective statin to lower blood cholesterol levels, which helps to reduce their risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Detecting high blood pressure (hypertension) – High blood pressure can lead to heart attacks and strokes if untreated, so it’s particularly important to detect those who don’t know they have it. Patients already identified with high blood pressure will be treated with the most effective medication available.

Atrial fibrillation and heart failure – Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. Better treating patients with atrial fibrillation will help to reduce the number of strokes.

The CCG has also launched a new website – – which contains a wealth of information about the Healthy Hearts programme.

More than 46,000 people in the Vale of York CCG area are affected by high blood pressure, yet around 1 in 10 (34,000 people) have undiagnosed high blood pressure, 7,000 people have an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) and more than 6,000 people have experienced a stroke or mini-stroke.

More than a quarter (26%) of all deaths in England in 2017 were caused by cardiovascular diseases (CVD), with coronary heart disease and stroke accounting for the majority of those deaths.

In the Vale of York CCG area, circulatory disease is one of the main causes of death with more than 880 deaths each year.

According to analysis by NHS RightCare, there may be more people dying prematurely in the Vale of York from CVD-related conditions compared to other similar areas of the country, which is why one of the CCG’s main priorities is to reduce the number of deaths caused by heart attack and stroke.

Dr Shaun O’Connell, CCG GP Lead for Acute Service Transformation and a local GP, said: “The Vale of York CCG is committed to improving the healthcare of patients who have cardiovascular disease, or are at risk of developing it, because it remains one of the biggest health challenges in our area.

“This is why we’ve launched the Healthy Hearts programme, which will see local GPs, nurses, hospital specialists and pharmacists work together to reduce cases of heart attack and stroke in the Vale of York.

“This ambitious programme aims to reduce the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease by 10% in our region over the next five years by focusing on reducing cases of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation and heart failure.

“There are also many things you can do yourself to improve your cardiovascular health, and our Healthy Hearts website is full of resources to help you reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.”

For more information, visit

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