Health Policy

25.10.18

Public Health England launches efficiency tool to target cost-effective CVD prevention

Public Health England (PHE) have unveiled a new return on investment (RoI) tool to help local commissioners decide the best cost-effective approach to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD), one of the leading causes of death and disability in the UK.

CVD costs the NHS £7.4bn each year, but PHE says the majority of cases are preventable through identifying and managing risk earlier.

The RoI tool will be able to show local commissioners the health and cost impacts of using different interventions to treat people at high risk of CVD, which will help them decide how to best spend their budget.

By allowing users to see the predicted impacts of different interventions, commissioners will be able to compare cost savings and the number of CVD events and premature deaths prevented, with analysis showing that using statins and hypertensives could bring some of the most considerable savings.

PHE, who commissioned the University of Sheffield to develop the tool, says that reducing the “burden” of CVD in the UK is an important step to help people stay in work, lower the future demand on health and social care, and boost the local economy.

Professor Jamie Waterall, national lead for CVD prevention at Public Health England, said: “We’re seeing the number of people with long term conditions, such as diabetes, continue to rise, which means prevention should be high on the agenda for the NHS.

“That is why this new tool is hugely useful in helping decision-makers make better choices about CVD prevention, based on the best evidence of what works.

“It will help commissioners plan effective CVD prevention strategies and make the most of their budgets to help more people live healthier, longer lives.”

The RoI tool is the latest effort from PHE’s health economists to encourage investment in prevention in order to help make the NHS and long-term healthcare more sustainable.

Waterall wrote for NHE in September to explain in more depth how PHE are tackling health inequalities through CVD prevention.

The announcement coincides with a new Global Burden of Disease study highlighting the importance of local policies targeting prevention to tackle premature mortality, as well as the extent of inequality between premature mortality rates in different areas of the UK.

Dr. Matt Kearney, GP and national clinical director for CVD prevention at NHS England, said: “Heart attacks and strokes are life changing events for sufferers and their families, and the NHS long-term plan will set out a strategy for cardiovascular disease prevention and care.

“This RoI tool will show health professionals in each part of the country how heart problems and strokes could be prevented, and how much health service resource could be freed up for reinvestment if we increase detection and treatment of high-risk conditions like atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.”

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 Image credit - Sezeryadigar

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