Anticoagulation initiative will cut strokes and save costs

An innovative collaboration between the NHS and Bayer is supporting GPs in Buckinghamshire to prevent strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

The ‘Excellence in AF’ initiative, led by Oxford AHSN and the Bucks Clinical Commissioning Groups, is a collaborative approach which brings together clinical and quality improvement expertise from a range of organisations to help GPs identify and treat patients with AF who are not receiving anticoagulation therapy (or whose treatment is not optimised).

The aim is to identify and review around 1,500 high risk patients in Bucks to understand why they are not currently receiving anticoagulation therapy and, if appropriate, start anticoagulation treatment. Based on these numbers around 20 strokes could be prevented by this project in 2017/18. With each stroke costing the NHS around £25,000, this represents a potential saving of £500,000 – on top of the significant patient benefits.