Update on CVD programme in Cheshire & Merseyside during the pandemic

Strong progress continues with a programme of cross-sector workstreams to tackle the ‘ABC’ of CVD prevention (atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure and high cholesterol) across Cheshire and Merseyside throughout the pandemic. The C&M Health and Care Partnership (HCP) CVD Prevention subgroup aims to achieve the national ambitions for detection and management of the ‘ABC’ conditions, thereby preventing heart attacks, stroke and dementia cases across the sub-region.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the largest group of conditions contributing to the ‘gap’ in health inequalities between rich and poor. And among COVID-19 patients, those with CVD have worse outcomes. CVD prevention must, therefore, play a key role in tackling inequalities, and in our wider response to tackling COVID-19.

Partners from a wide range of organisations including C&M HCP, Innovation Agency, BHF, Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, Champs public health collaborative, PHE NW, NHSEI, NWC Strategic Clinical Network, local CCGs, clinicians and more are leading on a programme of work to support awareness-raising, quality improvement, remote-care and self-care for CVD risk conditions. Some examples of recent successes are highlighted below.

In addition, recovery of interventions that remain significantly impacted due to COVID-19 (e.g., Fire and Rescue and community pharmacy BP & AF testing, BP kiosks, workplace BP testing, NHS Health Checks) will resume as soon as the pandemic and system readiness allow.

ABC webinar series

Before Christmas, the locally-developed ABC webinar series was well-attended by local primary care clinicians, supporting key learning in relation to  AFBP and Cholesterol during the pandemic. The webinars remain available to view on demand via the hyperlinks included.

Further webinars and professional resources can be accessed via the Happy Hearts website here.

Atrial Fibrillation

An AFQI package for primary care has been developed and is now being tested with several local GP practices. The tool compliments the BPQI package and aims to support primary care to better manage patients with AF. This will be available from March 2021. If you would like any further information on this resource, please contact michelle.coleiro@innovationagencynwc.nhs.uk

Home blood pressure monitoring

The importance of home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) has risen hugely during the pandemic as we increasingly turn to remote healthcare delivery to manage long term conditions. HBPM has been given a boost across the sub-region thanks to recent developments including:

  • HCP ‘Digital First’ funding being used to support innovative digital approaches to HBPM such as the Omron Hypertension+ platform (Cheshire CCG), text-based ‘Flo’ (Liverpool CCG) and updated BPQI package and other digital tools (Wirral CCG).
  • C&M CCGs have collectively received nearly 1,200 BP monitors this month as part of the national NHSEI BPM@home programme (an NHS@home initiative) and will benefit from national implementation support (and further equipment) over coming months.
  • Health Equality Partnership funding to further boost local HBPM equipment in local targeted approaches to tackle health inequalities

Contact melanieroche@wirral.gov.uk for further information on BP workstreams.


The Innovation Agency is leading a programme of work focusing on lipid management in primary care and improving the quality of referrals to secondary care. Several GP practices across the region will be involved in the quality improvement programme that will lead to the development of further resources to support primary care. If you would like to get involved in the lipids QI programme please contact michelle.coleiro@innovationagencynwc.nhs.uk

Happy Hearts website and resources

Empowering patients and support for self-care has never been more important. The Happy Hearts website (www.happy-hearts.co.uk) includes CVD prevention information for patients and professionals across C&M, (including translated and easy-read resources), and it was visited by over 10,000 new users over the last 6 months. A Happy Hearts Facebook campaign targeted at the most deprived areas across C&M highlighted key CVD prevention messages and reached over 900,000 people over the same time period.

The Happy Hearts A5 leaflet and A4 poster are freely available for digital sharing and local printing, and are an easy way to support CVD prevention across a wide range of settings. A short animation will be available very soon too. Thanks goes to partners who are already promoting these resources including Cheshire and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services, community pharmacies, local health and wellbeing services, GP practices etc, and more. Could you promote in your setting too?