The Heart Failure Policy Network

HPP acts as secretariat to the Heart Failure Policy Network, a multidisciplinary network working to raise awareness of the unmet needs of people with heart failure across Europe.

Context

Heart failure is a chronic syndrome where the heart is too weak or stiff to 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 those who live with the syndrome, along with 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.

One in five people can expect to be diagnosed with heart failure at some point in their lives. Yet few governments have recognised its strategic significance, and health outcomes for people living with heart failure are unacceptable.

Additional resources

The Heart Failure Policy Network

Heart failure and COVID-19

This report explores the emerging evidence around links between heart failure and COVID-19.

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The Heart Failure Policy Network

Heart failure policy and practice in Europe

Along with the pan-European report, country profiles explore the national picture of heart failure care in 11 countries.

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The Heart Failure Policy Network

Spotlight series

A series of reports on topics at the forefront of debates and challenges in the future of heart failure care.

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The Heart Failure Policy Network

Understanding heart failure guidelines

A collection of seven lay summaries of key principles in leading European guidelines.

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What we’ve 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. The Network later published summaries on the state of play in heart failure in 12 countries across Europe.

In 2018, the Network produced its first landmark resource, The handbook of multidisciplinary and integrated heart failure care. It provides an accessible, action-oriented view of best practice, highlighting practical tools and models for change management and showcasing examples of service innovation from across Europe. The handbook was launched at the European Parliament on 5 September 2018, along with five extended ‘pressure point’ documents published online. It was originally published in English, with translations later produced in Spanish (2019) and French (2021). 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, offering an accessible overview of what key European guidelines say about 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 published 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.

The Network has also published a report on heart failure and COVID-19, exploring the effect of the pandemic on heart failure care. Early in 2021, the Network developed a case study on reducing hospitalisations in heart failure, which was presented at the first global summit of the Partnership for Health System Sustainability and Resilience.

In 2021–23, the Network will continue raising awareness of unmet needs surrounding heart failure and will support advocates in securing high-level policy commitments for the syndrome at the national and European level. In September 2021, it launched the Action Statement on Heart Failure, arguably the most detailed call to action on heart failure yet directed at European institutions.

Building on the foundation of policy reports developed over the previous five years, 2021 saw the Network focus on supporting advocates to secure high-level policy commitments for heart failure at the national and European level. It launched the Action Statement on Heart Failure, arguably the most detailed call to action on heart failure yet directed at European institutions. On 16–18 November 2021, the inaugural Heart Failure Policy Summit was held. More than 30 speakers covered topics including the strategic role of the EU in heart failure, the global challenge of heart failure diagnosis, digital and innovative solutions in heart failure, workforce expansion and heart failure specialist nursing, the heart patient perspective, and learning from successes in policy advocacy. Almost 400 delegates attended the virtual summit over the three days.

2021 also saw the launch of the Trailblazers Hub, an online resource on the Network’s website that features case studies which aim to inspire and support heart failure advocates in taking action. Each case study incorporates expert insights and practical tips.

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

Key partners and stakeholders

The Heart Failure Policy Network is an independent, multidisciplinary group working to improve the lives of people living with heart failure by raising awareness of unmet needs. Its members and supporters include healthcare professionals, patient advocacy groups, policymakers and other stakeholders from across Europe. All members donate their time for free.

For full membership details, please see the Heart Failure Policy Network website.

Project funding

The Heart Failure Policy Network is made possible with financial support from AstraZeneca, Vifor Pharma, Bayer AG, Boehringer Ingelheim and Novartis Pharma. For details of past or project-specific funding, please visit the Network’s website.

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