North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson met with The British Heart Foundation at the Conservative Party Conference to hear about the charity’s Untold Heart Break Campaign.
A new report from the BHF has highlighted the impact the COVID pandemic has had on waiting times for diagnosis and treatment of conditions like coronary heart disease, abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure. The BHF’s The Untold Heartbreak report details how long waits for cardiovascular care are only the tip of the iceberg. Missed opportunities to prevent, diagnose and treat heart and circulatory diseases, an unprecedented backlog of people waiting for care, and a cliff-edge fall in research funding could amount to a loss of progress for a generation and lives cut short from treatable heart conditions.
As a result the BHF is calling for Government to take significant action to reduce the heart care backlog and build a stronger NHS for the future. The charity argues that this must include a clear plan for cardiovascular services and rapid and substantial long-term investment to build more capacity into NHS England and relieve pressure on exhausted health workers, as well as better support for heart patients while they wait for vital treatment.
Justin, whose father died following a cardiac arrest when Justin was a teenager, has worked closely with the BHF to promote the importance of learning key lifesaving skills. He supported BHF’s successful campaign to het CPR included on the national curriculum to create a nation of lifesavers.
Justin said “It was very insightful to speak with the BHF at the Labour/Conservative Party Conference about the significant disruption to vital heart care during the pandemic and what will be needed to urgently address this growing backlog.
Addressing the health care backlog following the pandemic has been a priority for the Government, and last month announced a £32billion investment to tackle the backlog and fix social care.”