NHS England is working with professionals across the healthcare system to look at ways in which services and outcomes for patients with heart valve disease can be improved further, for example, by encouraging practitioners to follow clinical guidelines.
Service specifications and policy for the surgical and interventional treatment of heart valve disease are published by NHS England’s Cardiothoracic Clinical Reference Group. These define what NHS England expects to be in place in order for providers to offer evidence-based, safe and effective services. NHS England is working on the next iteration of the specifications, which will include important standards relating to mitral valve surgery.
In addition, NHS England is holding a clinical summit on 15 June 2016, which will bring together cardiologists and cardiac surgeons to examine the issues relating to heart valve disease, including variation. Outputs from discussions will be used to inform the future commissioning approach within specialised commissioning.
Information on the number of people with an undiagnosed heart valve condition is not collected centrally. Patients with undiagnosed heart valve disease, once diagnosed, may require a range of treatments, including surgery. Therefore it is not possible to estimate what the aggregate costs might be.