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 gives an overview of opportunities for change following the release of the 2021 ESC guidelines. If you would like to share the messages from this report, please find the accompanying communications pack here.

Click the button below to download the report.

From guidelines to action: opportunities for change following the 2021 European Society of Cardiology heart failure guidelines

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

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


The initial report and animation for this project were developed with financial support from Vifor Pharma.

The Heart Failure Policy Network is made possible with financial support from AstraZeneca, Vifor Pharma, Bayer AG and Boehringer Ingelheim. 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.