Belfast Telegraph

New revised framework will further improve services for cardiovascular disease sufferers - Poots

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

A new revised cardiovascular framework that sets out the standards of care that patients, clients, carers and families can expect to receive has been launched by Health Minister Edwin Poots in a written statement to the NI Assembly.

The revised Framework, which came into effect from 1 April 2014, will build on its earlier success and continue to improve services for people who suffer from cardiovascular disease.

This revised Framework includes 42 standards, which relate to a number of specific conditions, as well as: 

· communication; 
· patient and public involvement; 
· health improvement and protection;
· medicines management; 
· palliative and end of life care; and 
· research.

The Minister said: “The Service Framework for Cardiovascular Health and Wellbeing was launched in June 2009, and set out standards in relation to the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, care, rehabilitation and palliative care of individuals/communities who currently have, or are at greater risk of developing, cardiovascular disease.

“While it is clear that the Framework has been successful in improving the quality of care for the people of Northern Ireland in a number of areas, cardiovascular diseases continue to be one of the largest causes of ill health in Northern Ireland.

“As Minister for Health I am determined to ensure that services are safe, improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities and, at the same time, make best the use of available resources.

“In addition, I believe it is important that services, as far as possible, meet the needs and preferences of people and are accessible to all regardless of where they live or who they are.”

Welcoming the launch of the revised framework, Northern Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride commented: “Although this revised framework will undoubtedly enhance services for people who suffer from cardiovascular disease there is an onus on people to take a responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.

“The evidence is clear. In Northern Ireland people’s diets are having a direct impact on their health and wellbeing. Not only is this having an impact on levels of coronary heart disease it is also leading to growing levels of obesity.

“Small steps such as eating more fruit and vegetables, eating food with less fats and lower salt counts can make a real difference and I strongly encourage people here to ensure they a eat a balanced and healthy diet and ensure that they undertake regular physical activity.”

The revised Service Framework for Cardiovascular Health and Wellbeing can be found at

Notes to editors:

1 The Framework was originally launched in 2009, and upon reaching the end of its three year life cycle, has been subjected to a fundamental review conducted by an extended membership of the multidisciplinary and intersectoral Cardiovascular Health and Wellbeing Commissioning Group. The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) has also appraised the implementation of the Framework.

2 Service frameworks aim to improve health and social care outcomes, reduce inequalities in health and social wellbeing, and improve service access and delivery. They set out the standards of care that patients, clients, carers and families can expect to receive and will be used by commissioners, HSC providers and RQIA.

3 The RQIA Independent Review of the Implementation of the Cardiovascular Service Framework can be found at 

4 Health Minister’s written statement can be viewed at 

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