The British Cardiovascular Society has published guidelines on the Commissioning of Cardiac Care and produced a report on the Future of Acute Cardiac Care, emphasising the importance and benefits of specialist care.
The principal conclusions of the report were that patients presenting with cardiac conditions managed in specialised cardiac wards have demonstrably better outcomes, but a significant proportion of these patients are not currently managed within a cardiac service, leading to a greater morbidity and mortality, and cost to the NHS.
It also found that patients presenting with acute cardiac conditions should be managed by a specialist, multi-disciplinary cardiac team and have access to key cardiac investigations and interventions, at all times. All hospitals admitting unselected acute medical patients should have an appropriately sized, staffed and equipped acute cardiac care unit, where high risk patients with a primary cardiac diagnosis should be managed.
Roughly 30% of all patients admitted to hospital with a medical condition will have a primary cardiac problem which emphasises the need for specialist expertise.