The Health Innovation Network has produced a summary of findings showing the impact of its lipid management and familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) national spread programme.

The programme, which ran from October 2020 to March 2023, aimed to tackle cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is one of the areas of improvement identified in the NHS Long Term Plan and a priority for reducing health inequalities in NHS England’s Core20PLUS5. Cardiovascular disease is the cause of around 1.18 million hospital admissions each year, with annual costs of approximately £19bn in the UK.

The programme increased the uptake of lipid lowering therapies, the identification and management of people with FH, and enabled adoption of endorsed treatment pathways.

With a focus on primary care, it achieved this through engagement and education events, supporting clinicians to identify those at risk, so they could in turn support patients to lower their lipids. It was anticipated that these interventions would in turn lead to a fall in the number of major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack or stroke.

The summary includes data from an independent evaluation by Unity Insights, and other sources such as CVDPREVENT and UCLPartners ‘Size of the Prize’ infographics.


Achievements during the programme include:

  • The total proportion of people with known CVD treated to NICE-recommended thresholds increased from 23.7% to 27.8% (March 2021 – March 2023).
  • The improvement in lipid management achieved across England is estimated to have prevented over 9,000 heart attacks and strokes.
  • The identification of genetically confirmed familial hypercholesterolaemia increased from 9.6% to 13.8%.


Prof Julia Newton, Medical Director, Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria, and Executive Lead for the National Lipid Management and Identification of Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Programme, said:

‘As an example of one of the Health Innovation Network led national spread programmes, the lipids and FH programme was able to demonstrate the concept that a whole pathway improvement programme at a national level can be successfully implemented, and have a positive impact on the management of cardiovascular disease supporting delivery of the ambitions outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan.’


Download the summary here.


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