Greater Huddersfield and North Kirklees CCGs are joining healthcare providers across the region to tackle the area’s biggest killer. The West Yorkshire and Harrogate’s Healthy Hearts programme aims to help reduce the impact of heart disease and prevent the number of heart-related illnesses, including heart attacks, stoke and diabetes.

The programme, created by the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health Care Partnership, aims to reduce the number of people in the region affected by heart disease by 10% by 2021, meaning 1,100 fewer cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidents by 2021.

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “The nine Clinical Commissioning Groups within the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health Care Partnership have committed to tackling CVD and diabetes. We’ve been working together over the last year to share the learning from a number of local projects, including Bradford Healthy Hearts, to develop our own project for the region.”

Dr Youssef Beaini, clinical lead for the programme across West Yorkshire and Harrogate said: “We’re delivering Healthy Hearts in three phases. Phase one sees us working to help local GP’s identify patients with undiagnosed high blood pressure (hypertension), and we estimate there may be up to 18,000 across the region, which can often be an indicator of cardiovascular disease.

“We also estimate that there’s a group of nearly 40,000 patients across the region, who’ve already been diagnosed with hypertension, that will benefit from through simple improvements to their existing medication. In fact, we believe that phase one alone will prevent 285 heart attacks and 421 strokes across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, saving the NHS £8m.”

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG added: “It’s also important that people realise there’s a lot they can do to reduce the risk factors that lead to cardiovascular disease, such as being overweight, smoking, drinking and having an unhealthy diet. It’s never too late to start looking after your heart. The Healthy Hearts programme will help patients make the kinds of lifestyle changes needed to stay healthy.”

Phase one of Healthy Hearts went live this month. Phase two, due to begin in autumn of 2019, will see an emphasis on lipid/ cholesterol management and phase three, set to begin in 2020, will see a concentration on glycaemic control in diabetes.

Further information about Healthy Hearts programme can be found by visiting https://www.westyorkshireandharrogatehealthyhearts.co.uk/