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Int J Cardiol. 2013 Mar 10;163(3):260-265. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2011.06.020. Epub 2011 Jun 23.

A guide for identification and continuing care of adult congenital heart disease patients in primary care.

Author information

1
Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom.
2
Cheshire & Merseyside Cardiac & Stroke Networks, United Kingdom.
3
North West Cardiac & Stroke Networks, United Kingdom.
4
Handbridge Medical Centre, Handbridge, Chester, United Kingdom.
5
North Wales Cardiac Network, United Kingdom.
6
North West Specialised Services Commissioning Group, United Kingdom.
7
Greater Manchester & Cheshire Cardiac & Stroke Network, United Kingdom.
8
Lancashire & Cumbria Cardiac & Stroke Networks, United Kingdom.
9
Manchester Royal Infirmary Manchester, United Kingdom. Electronic address: vaikom.mahadevan@cmft.nhs.uk.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Surgical and other advances in the treatment and care of congenital heart disease have resulted in a significant increase in the number of adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD), many of whom have no regular cardiology follow-up. Optimised care for ACHD patients requires continuity of specialist and shared care and education of practitioners and patients. The challenges for managing ACHD were identified by a Health Needs Assessment in the North West and are addressed within the UK Department of Health's ACHD Commissioning Guide.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

An ACHD model of care was recommended in the North West of England and developed by the three North West Cardiac & Stroke Networks. Within this, a Task Group focused on the role of primary care in the identification and continuing care of ACHD patients. A feasibility study demonstrated that existing diagnostic Read Codes can identify ACHD patients on general practice registers. An ACHD Toolkit was developed to provide algorithms to guide the appropriate management of ACHD patients through primary, secondary and/or specialist ACHD care and to improve education/knowledge amongst primary care staff about ACHD and its wider implications.

RESULTS:

Early findings during the development of this Toolkit illustrate a wide disparity of provision between current and optimal management strategies. Patients lost to follow-up have already been identified and their management modified.

CONCLUSIONS:

By focusing on identifying ACHD patients in primary care and organising/delivering ACHD services, the ACHD Toolkit could help to improve quality, timeliness of care, patient experience and wellbeing.

PMID:
21703700
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijcard.2011.06.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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