‘Heart Valve Voice’- the UK’s dedicated heart valve disease charity, held an awareness event at the Senedd where Assembly Members were tested for a heart murmur with a stethoscope – which in adults can indicate a problem with a heart valve.
Assembly Members were joined by patients and clinicians who shared their experiences of heart valve disease care and heard about Heart Valve Voice’s new report – ‘State of the Nation: Heart Valve Disease in Wales’ – which brings together a wealth of evidence on the current provision for heart valve disease patients in Wales.
The report highlights the significant under-diagnosis and under-treatment of the condition when compared to the UK as a whole, and warns that the number of people with heart valve disease in Wales is estimated to rise by 37% in the next 40 years.
Commenting after the event Huw Irranca-Davies Assembly Member for Ogmore said: “I was delighted to attend the Heart Valve Voice testing event and to help raise awareness of heart valve disease. After speaking with patients and clinicians it is clear how crucial optimal care is, and how it can both significantly improve a patient’s quality of life and ensure both short and long term savings for the NHS.
“Given Wales’ ageing population it is vital that more people are aware of the symptoms of heart valve disease and have access to appropriate treatments.
Heart Valve Voice Chief Executive Wil Woan added: “Heart Valve Disease is a growing concern in Wales and we hope that this report highlights the need for policy makers to prioritise the condition within wider cardiac care.”
“We were delighted to have Huw Irranca-Davies AM attend our testing session in the Welsh Assembly today. We look forward to working together to see the recommendations in the report implemented to improve the diagnosis, treatment and care of heart valve disease patients across Wales.”