House of Lords Atrial Fibrillation Debate

Did anyone see the debate last night in the House of Lords? I switched on half way through so missed a lot. They mainly talked about how prevalent AF was, how many people were undiagnosed, and how many were not anti-coagulated properly and how GP's were still prescribing Aspirin, and also the general lack of understanding in the medical profession.

The Lord who did a lot of the speaking has had AF for 20 years and just had a small stroke which affected his one eye. He seemed quite knowledgable at first except he described Warfarin as "blood thinners", then went on to say that he hoped people could be changed over to new NOACs instead. He then went on to say that maybe the NOACs were the same, he didn't know, in which case why did he say it? Anyhow, even though the grasp of detail was a bit short, they are bringing AF to the fore which is great.

If they haven't already, some of these lords could do with a bit of help and advice from the AFA. But well done anyhow. Never watched the Lords before for more than 30 seconds, it was so civilised compared to the Commons, they actually talked to each other and were polite, just like normal people :-D .

Koll

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  • Koll, There is already an All Party Parliamentary Group on AF chaired by Glynn Davis I think. I have been to a number of receptions at Westminster hosted by the group when new initiatives have been announced. AF Association are of course heavily involved in this. Sadly due to my distance from London my attendances have been few more recently.

    Bob

  • Sounds like someone from the group Bob mentions

    Meetings were good before NICE guidelines came out but less useful recently

    Think there is one today but I am not attending- pleased they are raising awareness

    We had another screening event in the shopping centre in Epsom last Thursday (world stroke day) our CCG were also involved this time. We found 3 new AF cases and one new Flutter and 9 other heart abnormalities.

    If we all could arrange this in local shopping centres it would be great. Someone from Alivecor helped out- one needs a local consultant to do this so that accurate diagnosis is possible- we are lucky to have great specialists who help

    Maybe we should try and have a 'Health Unlocked" screening day next year and all ask our local hospitals to help

    Bob if you'd like to think about this I'd be happy to share the details of how we have organised this with everyone ?????

  • One of the things they were proposing for screening was a simple pulse check to be carried out whilst people were wherever they were already, for example, at the dentist, and at GP's for other reasons. They thought this might pick up arrhythmias that might otherwise be missed.

    Thought that sounded like a good idea to me.

  • Thanks Koll. Good to know that AF has reached the dizzy heights of the House of Lords.

    Leeds General Infirmary are doing their 'thing' and staff from the Cardiac Department were in the White Rose Centre, Leeds on the 17th October testing shoppers for AF. They were also demonstrating CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). A fine bunch of people they are, very helpful and led by Dr. Tayebjee.

    Dave.

  • Did they actually agree some action however? It's all well and good having a nice chat about something but the key is to agree the actions and assign responsibilities. I've been in too many meetings where this hasn't happened!

  • From what I know of the HoL, their main task is to assist The Commons with the detail and to make recommendations. It's great that they are tackling this one.

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