Project: From guidelines to action

From guidelines to action
This project aims to help the heart failure community advocate for change to close the gap between clinical guidelines and the reality of care for people living with heart failure.

What is From guidelines to action?

There are over 10 million people living with heart failure in Europe, but 28% of them are not receiving guideline-recommended best-practice care. This is unacceptable. International clinical societies have produced evidence-based guidelines which, if properly implemented, could improve and extend the lives of people with heart failure and help to reduce pressure on health systems and economies. But these important opportunities cannot be grasped without change in policy and practice.

From guidelines to action aims to equip and empower the heart failure community with information and insight around clinical guidelines and how they can be implemented. Through a series of publications, HFPN will inform advocates about the European Society of Cardiology guidelines, the processes by which they are developed and, crucially, how they can be implemented through effective policies.

This project follows on from our earlier work: Understanding heart failure guidelines, which explained the context and content of heart failure clinical guidelines; and Heart failure policy and practice in Europe, which detailed the current state of heart failure care and surrounding policies in eleven European countries.

The first report to be launched as part of this project, From guidelines to action: opportunities for change following the 2021 European Society of Cardiology heart failure guidelines, gives an overview of opportunities for change following the release of these updated guidelines. If you would like to share the messages from this report, please find the accompanying communications pack here.

In September 2022, HFPN launched What’s new in international guidelines? This report gives an overview of how key international guidelines are developed, in addition to key changes in the updated versions of the European Society of Cardiology (2021) and American Heart Association (2022) heart failure guidelines. This report also offers tips on how heart failure advocates might use updates to the guidelines to engage with policymakers and drive forward improvements in care and outcomes.

Click the button below to download the reports.

From guidelines to action: opportunities for change following the 2021 European Society of Cardiology heart failure guidelines From guidelines to action: what’s new in international guidelines? From guidelines to action: opportunities for heart failure advocacy in Spain

Why is this work important?


The updated heart failure guidelines, published by the European Society of Cardiology in 2021, represent a significant opportunity to improve heart failure care across Europe.

The guidelines emphasise the importance of delivering truly person-centred care to each person living with heart failure. This care should include the following:

  • Prescription of four key medications to everyone with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction
  • Careful management of heart failure alongside other commonly co-occurring conditions
  • Consideration of telemonitoring to enable people to better monitor and manage their own symptoms at home
  • Post-discharge monitoring for everyone with heart failure following a hospital admission.

If this kind of care were to become a reality for every person with heart failure, their quality of life could significantly improve, and their risk of hospitalisation and premature death decrease.

We know how to improve care and outcomes for people with heart failure, but there are barriers to implementation, including inequitable access to treatment, gaps in collaboration between medical specialties, workforce pressures and a lack of accountability for guideline implementation at national and local levels.

We hope to provide the heart failure community with the information they need to engage policymakers and push for guidelines to be translated into action. To aid this, we suggest the following ‘policy hooks’:

  • Focus on preventing hospitalisations
  • Highlight how heart failure relates to other conditions
  • Encourage monitoring of quality indicators
  • Put quality of life at the heart of the discussion.

Project Advisory Group: opportunities for change following the 2021 European Society of Cardiology heart failure guidelines

Jelena Čelutkienė
Cardiologist, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Ekaterini Lambrinou
Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus
Tiny Jaarsma
Professor in Caring Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Linköping, Sweden
Denis Janssen
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Patient’s Voice, the Netherlands
Giuseppe Rosano
Consultant Cardiologist and Professor of Cardiology, St George’s University Medical School, UK; President-Elect, Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology

Advocacy Leadership Group: what’s new in international guidelines?

Salvatore Di Somma
Department of Medical Surgery, Sapienza-Università di Roma, Italy
Klaus Edel
Centre of Cardiovascular Diseases, Rotenburg upon Fulda, Germany
Cristina Enjuanes Grau
University Hospital of Bellvitge, Spain
Winfried Klausnitzer
Herzschwäche Deutschland, Germany
Steven Macari
Association Vie Et Cœur, France
Yolanda Rueda
Cardioalianza, Spain
Stefan Störk
University Hospital Würzburg, Germany



The initial report and animation for this project were developed with financial support from CSL Vifor. Subsequent reports were developed with financial support from AstraZeneca.

The Heart Failure Policy Network is made possible with financial support from AstraZeneca, CSL Vifor, Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche Diagnostics and Bayer AG. The content produced by the Network is non-promotional and not biased to any specific treatment or therapy. All outputs are guided and endorsed by the Network’s members.