GPs urged to identify all heart failure patients in their practices

GPs in England have been urged to make sure they have identified all heart failure patients in their surgeries.

The call follows a report by the Healthcare Commission which showed that the number of people given a firm diagnosis of heart failure in 2005/6 was 140,000 fewer than expected.

The review of 303 healthcare communities – including PCTs and major hospital providers – showed that 26 of those assessed for heart failure services are ‘weak’. A further 89 were judged ‘fair’, 160 ‘good’ and 28 ‘excellent’.

Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission, said: ‘Our report suggests that not all those that need treatment are getting it. PCTs and GPs need to monitor the number of patients they deal with in comparison to national statistics.

‘Symptoms and treatments need to be recorded and followed up by GPs,’ she added.

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