It has been a busy year for ACSMA and the campaign to secure wider access to self-monitoring technology for people on long-term warfarin anticoagulation therapy.
Building on the 2014 success of positive NICE guidance for two coagulometers, in July 2015 NICE also published a Quality Standard. The Quality Standard included what is known as a developmental standard, which is a standard which NHS bodies are expected to work towards over a period of time. The standard states that adult patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) who are taking warfarin on a long-term basis to help reduce their risk of stroke are supported to self-manage their blood levels with a coagulometer.
In spite of these very positive developments, however, we know that many of you are still struggling to persuade your GP or anticoagulation clinic to support you to self-monitor your blood clotting levels. Many parts of the country are dragging their heels when it comes to implementing the NICE guidance. In other parts of the country, matters have taken a step backwards, as Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) have taken the decision to restrict the number of test strips that can be prescribed or, in some cases, refusing to prescribe the strips at all.
Our work at national level is continuing. We have excellent and active support from a wide range of MPs and from senior people within NHS England.
However, locally we need your support now more than ever. For that reason, we have updated and revised a number of our fact sheets and campaign toolkit items – including our “mythbuster” document and template MP letter – and added a couple of new resources for you, including a letter for your local CCG. You can find them here <please add direct link to the campaign toolkit>
Please take the time to download or print the updated materials and make use of them in any way you can to help drive our campaign for wider access to self-monitoring opportunities.
Please do keep us updated on your progress and do not hesitate to contact any of the ACSMA founding members for help.