'Lives at risk' in Nottinghamshire as pandemic causes major delays in heart care

The number of people waiting more than four months for heart procedures and operations in Nottinghamshire is now 135 per cent higher than before the pandemic.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 4:17 pm
The British Heart Foundation has warned that lives may be at risk.

Latest figures show that 1,009 people in the region were waiting 18 weeks or more for heart-related treatments in February 2021, compared to 429 people in February 2020.

It comes as dozens of people have now been waiting over a year for heart operations and procedures.

In February 2021, 83 people had been waiting in-excess of 12-months – compared to none in February 2020.

The British Heart Foundation said the devastating disruption to heart care caused by the pandemic could put lives at risk for many years to come.

Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation and consultant cardiologist, said: "Despite the tireless efforts of NHS staff, the pandemic has caused untold heartbreak, with thousands of extra heart disease and stroke deaths and significant delays to cardiovascular care.

“However, what we have seen so far is only the tip of the iceberg.

"No part of the system providing care for people with heart and circulatory diseases has been left undamaged – from life saving prevention, detection, treatment, and recovery, to crucial research that could unlock future breakthroughs and cures.“We face a cardiovascular ticking timebomb for the future that could start to reverse six decades of progress in reducing death rates from heart disease and stroke.

"Averting this disaster will require clear plans that help the NHS to recover, bolster public health, and revive the hard-hit medical research charity sector.

"Getting this right could protect thousands of lives from heart and circulatory diseases for years to come.”