Prescribing plan cuts MI deaths

A GP-led project to boost statin prescribing in one of London's most deprived areas has come runner up in a special award from NICE.

East London GP Dr John Robson led a scheme by Queen Mary University in London encouraging GPs to prescribe statins to patients with angina or prior MI. Statin prescribing rose from 65 per cent in 2004 to 93 per cent in 2010 among patients in this group at risk of MI or stroke.

Tower Hamlets, Newham and Hackney PCTs now have among the highest prescribing rates of statins in England and Wales.

The team gave educational materials and a summary of relevant NICE guidance to all 150 practices in these areas and provided in-house support for under-performers.

As a result, an estimated 4,000 extra people are now on statins, with 37 fewer MIs or deaths from cardiovascular disease in the last year alone.

The success of the scheme led to a nomination for a NICE Shared Learning Award.

Dr Robson said he was honoured to be shortlisted for the award. 'I hope that this recognition encourages even more healthcare settings across the NHS to take note of NICE guidance and the differences that they can make,' he said.

He added: 'As east London has the highest rate of heart disease in the capital, it was crucial that health professionals in the area were aware of the best advice and resources on how to lower the blood cholesterol levels of their patients who were most at risk.'

The award was won by a team from Manchester Royal Infirmary for their work on home-based haemodialysis.

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