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Heart Diseases: Cheshire

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to improve outcomes in coronary health care in (a) Warrington and (b) Cheshire in the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (185582)

The National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease, published in March 2000, set out a 10-year framework for action to prevent disease, tackle inequalities, save more lives, and improve the quality of life for people with heart disease. An estimated 178,000 lives have been saved since 1996.

The target set out in “Our Healthier Nation” (OHN) to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease and stroke and related diseases) by 40 per cent. in people under 75 by 2010 has been met five years early. The mortality rate has fallen by 40.3 per cent. between 2004-06 over the 1995-97 baseline.

Inequalities in the death rate from heart disease, stroke and related diseases among the under-75s have been narrowing for the past eight years, and we are on track to meet a 40 per cent. reduction target in the gap by 2010. The death rate has reduced by 32 per cent. since 1995-97.

In 1997 the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease was 69,133 but by 2005 this figure fell to 42,886, a reduction of over 26,000 deaths per year.

The initiatives outlined above such as the National Service Framework and the targets in OHN will have had an impact across both Cheshire and Warrington, as well as nationally.

In addition, a £600 million programme of hospital building is continuing to provide new or expanded cardiac facilities in the places where they are most needed. There has been a £125 million investment in improved diagnostic and treatment facilities (combined departmental and national lottery fund money) which has supported the building and equipping of 90 new or replacement catheterisation laboratories in England, increasing the capacity previously available by more than 50 per cent.

More locally, a new cardiac catheter laboratory was opened at the Warrington general hospital in January 2006. The hospital also has a dedicated eight-bed coronary care unit providing monitoring and urgent treatment for patients with acute coronary conditions.