Why this is important
Around 7 million people in the UK are affected by cardiovascular disease, with the number of people with a higher than 20% risk continuing to rise. Over 4 million people in the UK are living with diabetes and some 12 million people are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In our local population, both cardiovascular disease and diabetes are highly prevalent. They contribute significantly to our region having amongst the worst health outcomes in the country and a much reduced life expectancy.
The good news is that it does not have to be like this. We have in our region some of the best clinicians and healthcare providers in the country – that means we can come together to share, learn, innovate and continually improve the treatment of these conditions. We also know that many of the risk factors that contribute to the prevalence of these conditions are largely preventable – if we work together we can reverse the trend.
The Cardiovascular and Diabetes Clinical Network is one part of a wider system effort to reduce both the prevalence of these conditions, and the complications and poor health outcomes that arise from them. Our specific aims for cardiovascular disease and diabetes include:
- Reduce prevalence through prevention
- Reduce the number and severity of complications through early detection and timely access to evidence-based treatment and monitoring
- Reduce the variation and inequity in detection, treatment and outcome
- Work collaboratively with other clinical networks (e.g. maternity, mental health, learning disability) to ensure our work remains inclusive and equitable
The Cardiovascular and Diabetes Clinical Network is a collaborative space to share, learn and develop ways to enhance and improve services across the North East and North Cumbria. It brings together clinical expertise from across our region with experts by experience (including service users, carers, patients and the public) and other interested parties, particularly the 3rd sector and public health.
The Network is able to develop and implement ideas and improvements from within the network community, promoting best practice that is underpinned by latest evidence. It is also a resource available to system leaders, commissioners and key policy makers to test, advise upon and at times coordinate important policy changes and service reconfigurations.
The Network is led by clinical leaders that are experts in their field, and is supported by a small team of funded Network staff who provide a coordinating and administrative function.
Our work plan is reviewed regularly and we continually shape and develop our work streams and projects to meet local priorities and identified needs. Our key focus lies in the following areas, all of which are delivered through one or more clinical network. Please contact us for more information about our latest work plan or to discuss ways in which you can help further progress our aims and ambition.
- Diabetes and diabetes prevention – reducing the prevalence of Type II diabetes in our population, and improving the treatment, access, outcomes and support to people with Type I and Type II diabetes. As well as a range of locally led work streams, including a thriving foot care network and other work spanning much of diabetes care, the Diabetes Network are also the coordinating body for the local deployment of the National Diabetes Programme.
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention – reducing the prevalence of cardiovascular disease by promoting and coordinating prevention strategies, working in partnership with Public Health England, NHS Right Care, the Academic Health Science Network and other bodies. The CVD prevention network has a current focus on the detection and treatment of high blood pressure, cholesterol and atrial fibrillation.
- Cardiac Disease – Supporting strategies aimed at cardiovascular disease prevention and improving the treatment, access, outcomes and support to people living with a range of conditions, including: coronary heart disease; valve disease; heart failure and rhythm disorders. The cardiac disease network covers a wide remit and works closely with specialist commissioners, local commissioners, healthcare providers, the British Heart Foundation and others across a range of work streams with a strong focus on the development of new pathways and evidenced-based innovation in the treatment of coronary heart disease.
- Stroke – improving the treatment, access, outcomes and support to people affected by stroke and Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA), and supporting strategies for their prevention. The Network is primarily engaged in making improvements across the whole pathway from the urgent treatment of stroke, through to early supported discharge and supported rehabilitation; they work with other partners including the Stroke Association and experts by experience. The Network has a key role in developing clinical consensus and drafting recommendations for how best to apply locally any national stroke strategy.
- Vascular –improving the treatment, access, outcomes, and support for people who suffer vascular decease. The Network is engaged in supporting service improvements across the vascular pathway, facilitating a forum that brings together expertise from the field of vascular surgery and peripheral arterial disease, collaborating with other networks where useful, including the foot care network.