Capture AF is a pharmacist-led study involving a targeted atrial fibrillation (AF) screening programme in community pharmacies. The project aims to improve the detection and treatment of AF and to initiate evidence-based anticoagulant treatment with the end goal of preventing stroke. Community pharmacists identify patients with a previous diagnosis of AF or with risk factors for AF, and provide an enhanced Medicine Use Review (MUR). These MURs involve a consultation with the patient where their heart rate and rhythm are measured using a Kardia monitor, and risk and symptom burden are assessed with questionnaires. Patients identified at risk can then be directly referred on to the arrhythmia care team at Harefield Hospital.
Following on from the Health Foundation's award of £75,000 in 2015, Sally and Zainab have now secured another £100,000 funding from BMS-Pfizer Alliance to scale up their project and access a wider population. The BMS-Pfizer Alliance works specifically to improve the diagnosis, treatment and management of conditions such as AF and is keen to support and work with innovative projects such as Capture AF.
The project previously involved 10 community pharmacies and around 600 patients but now aims to progress, accessing over 3000 patients over a 10-12 month period, and involving 30 pharmacies in the Hillingdon Clinical Commissioning Group.
Zainab said: “There is a huge drive and enthusiasm by allied health professionals such as pharmacists to conduct research projects that not only develop personal skills but have the potential to influence services of the future. There are many funding streams that can be utilised to implement these research studies.”
Richard Goodman, director of pharmacy and medicines optimisation for the Trust, also commented: “I am delighted by Sally and Zainab’s success in developing their research programme. Their initial project, funded through a grant from the Health Foundation, demonstrated the benefits that access to testing for AF through community pharmacy has on patients’ lives. This research attracted many awards including the Chemist and Druggist Health Initiative of the Year Prize. They have continued to develop this research through a new grant from the Academic Health Science Network which will allow them to identify more patients who have undetected AF and treat them to prevent the debilitating effects of stroke in the future”.
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