The UK Valve for Life initiative aims to improve and expand access to life-saving and life-changing minimally invasive ‘key-hole’ therapies for heart valve disease across the National Health Service.
Heart valve disease is a common problem, particularly in older people, and leads to symptoms such as breathlessness and chest pain which reduce exercise capacity and compromise quality of life. Left untreated, heart valve disease can be fatal, and therefore rapid diagnosis and treatment are crucial.
Increasingly, heart valve disease can be effectively treated using novel trans-catheter, or ‘key-hole’ procedures, which avoid the need for open-heart surgery. However, the availability of these revolutionary new techniques is currently limited in the UK and is much less than in most other European countries. Furthermore, there is substantial variation in access to treatment in different areas of the United Kingdom.
Valve for Life aims to increase patient access to minimally invasive therapies such as trans-catheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and trans-catheter mitral valve leaflet repair, so that patients can be treated quickly, successfully, and equally wherever in the United Kingdom they may be.
The Valve For Life UK team is made up of six Interventional Cardiologists working within different NHS trusts throughout the UK. This helps us to understand the challenges faced across a variety of trusts and hospitals to ensure our initiatives bring a positive impact to as many people as possible throughout the UK.