One of the key organizations focusing on cardiovascular diseases in the UK, Heart Valve Voice, visited Westminster on September 12th in honour of the Heart Valve Disease Awareness week. The event focused on raising awareness of heart valve disease and the importance of early detection and diagnosis through the ‘Your Heart Matters Bus’ that offered stethoscope checks to Members of Parliament (MPs) to underscore the importance of early disease detection.
On the day of the event, clinicians listened to the heartbeats of 353 individuals and engaged in discussions with 51 MPs and Members of the House of Lords regarding valve diseases, its detection and pathways for improvement. Esteemed cardiologists from various regions of the UK also supported the event and engaged with MPs to discuss the challenges they encounter while delivering optimal healthcare pathways.
MPs pledged their support for promoting early detection and committed to collaborating with Heart Valve Voice to enhance access to life-saving stethoscope checks, with many MPs sharing their experience of the day on their social media accounts. The Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Heart Valve Disease who has Heart Valve Disease himself, Steve McCabe MP, stated that ‘it is great to see Members from across the House come together and pledge to improve the detection and diagnosis, this simple stethoscope check saved my life and could save theirs too.’
Looking ahead, the APPG for Heart Valve Disease and senior NHS decision-makers will collaborate with patient groups to explore ways to enhance access to these life-saving checks. In October, the APPG will convene stakeholders from various points along the healthcare pathway in Parliament to discuss the next steps in improving the detection, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.