Introduction: NHS long-term plan has AF as one of its three priority areas – and is calling for 89% of people with AF to be diagnosed within this time-frame. There are currently half a million people unaware that they have AF and are, therefore, at risk of suffering a debilitating or life-threatening, AF-related stroke. The only way this ambitious target will be met, and significant lives saved, is through a GP practice-based programme. The use of AliveCor Kardia in usual GP setting seems a great strategy. We are not aware of any similar program in primary care in UK.
Method: We utilised AliveCor Kardia by opportunistic screening for people attending GP premises. This system is led by healthcare assistants during NHS health check-ups and phlebotomy sessions. The practice nurses while performing routine chronic illness check-up including diabetic reviews, wound care, COPD clinics. All of this is done during their normal clinic times. A protocol was created to streamline the process which is recorded on our GP record system.
Results: Over 300 people have been offered such screening for atrial fibrillation since October 2018. Three people have had a positive diagnosis confirmed with 12-lead ECG. These have been treated as per standard UK primary care guidance. The risk assessment also revealed 7 borderline detections and were followed up with further ECG which were negative.
Conclusion: AF detection based in GP practice settings allows us to utilise a cohort of population which is already attending primary care for a reason. No added appointments are necessary.
This practice has empowered the HCA and Nursing team by offering a NHS plus service i.e. more than routine care. Positive People feedback has allowed this to be an ongoing plan.