National Programme —

Lipid Management & FH (familial hypercholesterolaemia)

Supporting primary care to optimise lipid management pathways.

medical doctor with stethoscope writing, filing medical form

3-year lipid management programme to improve outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease 

Detection programme for familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) 

Support and work with health and care professionals to ensure the lipid lowering pathway is adhered too. Increasing understanding of offering the right lipid lowering medications, to the right person at the right time. 

Detailed Programme Information

A key element of the NHS Long Term Plan is reducing the incidence of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), which causes a quarter of all deaths in the UK, particularly in deprived areas.  

The South West AHSN is aiming to ensure that more patients ‘at risk’ of and with CVD are affectively treated for their cholesterol. Our support involves increasing awareness of the NICE lipid pathway, collaboratively planning training opportunities with education hubs and supporting prioritising of CVD prevention measures in localities. We also aim to support the identification and improved equitable service provision to those with FH, a genetic condition that causes premature CVD. 

A consistent national approach will reduce the current link of CVD with deprivation, and reduce the risk of admissions and readmissions, and in general for long-term conditions. 

Lipid Management

The current lipid management pathway includes 5 commonly prescribed medications, including statins and ezetimibe in primary care, and PCSK9 inhibitors in secondary care.

Recently, Inclisiran and Bempadoic Acid have been approved by NICE, to lower lipids, giving clinicians additional options. The AHSNs’ role is to support clinicians to understand where these drugs can be best deployed. Specifically, with Inclisiran, we are supporting primary care teams to have confidence in initiating timely adoption and prescribing within their primary care setting.

We are gathering tools and resources to support health and care professionals to optimise cholesterol management.

We are supporting primary care to implement innovative approaches to supplement current clinical assessment processes, underpinned by changes in pathways, workforce and data collection.

This programme is part of a joint AHSN-Accelerated Access Collaborative (AAC) programme of work delivered in partnership with the AAC Rapid Uptake Product (RUP) Lipid programme. The RUP for the lipid management element of the programme is a novel, NICE-approved clinical pathway, focusing on primary and secondary prevention.

Familial Hypercholesterolaemia detection

We are working to improve the identification of patients with, or at risk of, familial hypercholesterolaemia, a genetic disease which results in high blood cholesterol and an increased risk of early cardiovascular disease (CVD).  This involves:

  • Working to increase the numbers of patients who have their cholesterol measured.
  • Screening electronic records to identify those who meet the clinical diagnosis of FH, and support awareness of the referral pathways for genetic testing
  • Piloting child-parent screening.
  • Identifying and supporting discussions locally of noval approaches to reduce inequalities in access to FH services.

This will enable early diagnosis and treatment for those at genetic risk of sudden cardiac death.

For more information, please contact our Cardiovascular Disease Programme Clinical Lead, Rhiannon Edwards.

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