December 2020 Br J Cardiol 2020;27(suppl 2):S2–S16
Adapting cardiovascular disease care to the ‘new norm’ of the COVID-19 era: same standard, different delivery
Martin R Cowie, Matthew Fay, Jo Jerrome, Abhishek Joshi, Jim Moore, Helen Williams
Following the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic to CVD services in England, Bayer plc brought together a multidisciplinary steering committee of primary and secondary care HCPs and a patient representative in May 2020 to discuss their front line perspective on how services could adapt to the ‘new norm’. Challenges for CVD care moving forward include reorganising CVD services, dealing with the backlog of CVD patients, and reduction of patient traffic into surgeries and hospitals. The steering committee highlighted three critical areas where services have been impacted by COVID-19 and therefore must adapt to operate in the ‘new norm’. As identified within this piece, they are: Re-engineering the CVD patient experience Detecting new or undiagnosed patients and Supporting patients and physicians in the new era. The steering committee provided several recommendations for each of these areas based on their clinical expertise and within the time limit, concentrating on long-term management of CVD and prevention of cardiovascular events, rather than emergency care. There was a focus on appropriate use of virtual technologies, activation and education around self-management and home monitoring and the integration of primary and secondary care. Health inequality was a key concern, and HCPs should consider this when expanding the use of digital tools and home monitoring equipment. The patient should remain at the centre of planning. The committee did not cover in detail the specific logistical, resourcing and policy challenges with implementing some of the recommendations but urged decision makers and relevant stakeholders to consider the allocation of resources when reviewing these comments. CVD remains the single biggest condition where lives can be saved in England, as identified by the NHS Long Term Plan. With the fresh set of challenges caused by the pandemic, it is critical that CVD is kept on the political agenda moving forward....