Khalid Ali, film, and media correspondent reports on the British Society for Heart Failure ‘F Campaign’ Raising Awareness about Heart Failure in the UK
Heart failure (HF) is an insidious condition characterised by symptoms of Fighting for breath, Fatigue and Fluid build-up, most noticeable in the ankles. There are approximately 1 million people with heart failure in the UK and a further 200,000 people are newly diagnosed each year. For half of those with the condition, heart failure is a terminal illness with death occurring within 2-5 years of diagnosis.
For many heart failure patients, there are significant delays in its diagnosis reaching up to 12 months. The risk of death from heart failure is higher than that for some of the most common cancers and should be treated with the same urgency. There is a real concern over the direct and indirect impact of the CoViD-19 pandemic such as an increase in the number of heart failure patients and those yet to be diagnosed over the coming months and years.
There is a significant ‘health literacy’ problem around heart failure knowledge amongst the public; when asked about the definition of HF from a list of definitions of multiple cardiovascular diseases, over half (55%) of the public were unable to do so.
However, whilst heart failure remains a burdensome, debilitating condition, and its prognosis being poor without intervention, with appropriate management, it is possible for people to live well with heart failure. Clinical outcomes can be dramatically improved through earlier diagnosis and treatment with guideline recommended therapies.
The British Society for Heart Failure (BSH) have embarked on a nation-wide awareness programme ‘Freedom from Failure – The F Word’ campaign to empower people with knowledge about heart failure. The campaign is intended to:
- Raise public, professional and policy-maker awareness of heart failure
- Increase early presentation in primary care by improving symptom recognition
- Support those with heart failure
- Support the ambitions for heart failure within National plans
- Aid the recovery of our health system as the CoViD crisis abates
The BSH produced the following short films to inaugurate their ‘Freedom from Failure – The F Word’ Campaign’.
The ‘Freedom from Failure – The F Word’campaign is supported by British actor, writer and TV presenter Brian Blessed, OBE, who launches the campaign with the short film, ‘O Sole Mio’.
‘Freedom from Failure’ is a stylised reverse journey of heart failure from fearful symptoms to proper management and freedom from symptoms.
‘Living with Heart Failure’ tells a few patient stories highlighting that ‘failure is something people do not like to talk about, they avoid it, they hide from it, they do not learn about it. Through an emotional journey of what heart failure means, patients share their experience and learning.
‘From the Heart—A Specialist’s Perspective’ illustrates the voice of healthcare professionals at the forefront of tackling Heart Failure as humans first, and as professionals second.
Visit the website for films, podcasts, posters and more to share with your colleagues, patients, friends, and family.