COVID-19 and heart failure

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Retention of essential heart failure services

Heart failure teams are in demand due to their transferable skills, but there are significant risks with the redeployment of staff and reduction of services designed to monitor and maintain patients with life threatening conditions. Such patients cannot be left without vital support.

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The British Society for Heart Failure (BSH) has therefore produced a position statement designed to help easily identify and prioritise patients that should be considered for review. It will also support local teams to identify a lead clinician that they can contact for advice.

BSH recommends that the following patients are considered for review:

  • New referrals of symptomatic patients with NTproBNP >2,000pg/ml from primary care or recent A&E attendance
  • Known HF patient with symptoms of decompensation
  • Recently discharged patients following admission with acute heart failure
  • Patients with advanced care plans and receiving palliative care in the community.

The statement also recommends continuation, where possible, to triage patients under routine follow-up and six-week wait referrals, and to make use of alternative monitoring devices where available. A heart failure services flowchart is also provided, advising on how primary care can expedite referrals with telephone/video consultation.

The position statement is available at:

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