The Heart Failure Policy Network

The Heart Failure Policy Network is an independent, multidisciplinary network working across Europe to raise awareness of the unmet needs of people with heart failure. For more information, visit the HF Policy Network website.

Context

Heart failure is a chronic condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood to support the needs of other organs in the body. 

It is a challenging condition to manage, placing a heavy physical and psychological toll on patients, their carers and families. Despite its significant cost to society, it is largely forgotten, with poor public awareness and understanding.  

Heart failure is the most frequent cause of hospitalisation in people aged over 65, so the effect of an ageing population will make the disease burden even greater. Of people hospitalised with heart failure, one in four is readmitted to hospital within one month, and one in three will die within one year. 

There are at least 26 million adults in Europe living with heart failure. Yet few governments have recognised its strategic significance, and health outcomes for people living with heart failure are unacceptable. 

Download project output

 

Video: Heart failure policy and practice launch
Policy toolkit (2015)

Heart failure affects one in five people during their lifetime

Two in three heart failure patients are readmitted to hospital within one year of first discharge

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Hospital admissions due to heart failure are projected to rise by 50% over the next 25 years

What we achieved

HPP acts as secretariat to the Heart Failure Policy Network, which was launched in 2015. We have been instrumental leading the Network’s publications, meetings and political campaigns.

In 2015, Heart Failure Policy Network members and supporters gathered at the European Parliament on World Heart Day (29 September), to launch the Network’s Call to Action and the Heart Failure Policy Toolkit.

In 2016/17, the Network led a European Parliament Written Declaration on Heart Failure (WD 110/2016). Gaining 236 signatures, it was one of the largest ever political campaigns on heart failure. During 2017, the Network published summaries on the state of play in heart failure in 12 countries across Europe.

In 2018, the Network built on its previous work to produce The handbook of multidisciplinary and integrated heart failure care. It is designed to provide an accessible, action-oriented view of best practice, highlighting practical tools and models for change management aimed at patient advocates, healthcare professionals and decision-makers. It showcases examples of service innovation from across Europe and offers a starting point for policy discussions.

The handbook was launched at the European Parliament on 5 September 2018, along with five extended ‘pressure point’ documents published online. The handbook was originally published in English, with a Spanish translation published in 2019. A 10-page summary of the handbook is available in English, French, Italian, Polish and Spanish.

In 2019, the Network published a seven-part collection called Understanding heart failure guidelines, which offer an accessible overview of what key European guidelines say about important areas of heart failure. The guides focus on prevention, diagnosis, the multidisciplinary team, clinical management, comorbidities, patient empowerment and self-care, and advance care planning. In 2020, the Network launched the Spotlight series of reports focusing on topics at the forefront of debates and challenges in the future of heart failure care.

The Network launched a landmark project in 2020: Heart failure policy and practice in Europe. Comprising a pan-European report and 11 country profiles, the project was developed to equip and empower national advocates across Europe with a clear picture of central leadership and overall performance in terms of major pillars of health services, treatment and care.

To find out more, please see the Heart Failure Policy Network website.

‘HPP has been an essential partner to our efforts to engage decision-makers at the national and European level, bringing clarity, confidence and momentum to the topics at hand.’

Neil Johnson

Chief Executive, Croí, West of Ireland Cardiac Foundation

Key partners and stakeholders

All members donate their time for free. For full membership details, please see the HF Policy Network website.

In 2015–2017 the HFPN was supported through grants from Novartis Pharma and St Jude Medical (now Abbott). In 2017 and 2018, it was supported through grants from Novartis Pharma. It is currently made possible with financial support from Novartis Pharma, AstraZeneca and Vifor Pharma.