Heart failure: what is the state of play in Europe?

The second summary from our four-part state of play series has now been released:
The clinical management of heart failure: What is the state of play in Europe?

Key findings include:

  • HF is the leading cause of hospitalisations among people over 65 in Europe
  • Readmissions are a major driver of all hospitalisations, with a quarter of HF patients being readmitted within one month of discharge
  • Over 50% of unplanned admissions could be prevented through better follow-up and transitions of care
  • European and national guidelines endorse HF management programmes led by multidisciplinary teams; these can reduce mortality, readmission rates and associated healthcare costs, and improve patients’ quality of life
  • Many people with HF are still not getting the right treatment – only seven European countries have organised HF programmes
  • Logistic and institutional barriers mean best-practice models for HF programmes are often stuck in ‘pilot’ mode and not implemented at scale
  • Poor data on HF programmes mean accountability and system improvement efforts may be compromised
  • Multidisciplinary working is hampered by poor communication among healthcare professionals
  • Even where policy commitments exist, multidisciplinary working is often held back by reimbursement constraints, workforce shortages and other structural issues


About the state of play series

The state of play series comprises two summaries from a literature review into the clinical management of heart failure at the European and national level in 12 countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

1. Diagnosis

  • Focus: Echocardiography
  • Focus: Natriuretic peptide testing
  • What can be done?

2. Multidisciplinary clinical management

  • Focus: HF management programmes
  • Focus: Discharge planning and follow-up
  • Focus: HF specialist nursing
  • What can be done?