We work to prevent premature deaths from high cholesterol – a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes. We receive no government funding and rely on your donations to help fund our work.
At HEART UK, every day we strive to:
- Support everybody that contacts us for help and advice
- Campaign for patients to get a proper diagnosis and the best possible care
- Raise awareness of the risk of high cholesterol and Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH)
- Reduce premature deaths from high cholesterol a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes
This year, we have reached:
2082 members of the public, who reported:
- a 157% increase in their level of knowledge following our webinars
- 78% better understood their medical condition
- 92% would recommend our webinars to their family and friends
612 healthcare professionals, who reported:
- a 298% increase in confidence following our webinars
- 85% could now improve the care they provide to patients
- 88% would recommend our webinars to their healthcare professional colleagues
Every year, thousands of our free booklets are ordered by healthcare professionals for use in their work area. This year, we've heard back that:
- 99% feel our literature is 'invaluable' or 'very helpful'
- 90% give our booklets to patients during a consultation
Providing reliable information for both healthcare professionals and the public is vital in ensuring that everyone can make informed choices about their care.
Our helpline provides impartial information and support to people who want to understand more about cholesterol.
- 100% of respondents who contacted our helpline reported that they were 'very likely' or 'likely' to make a change or take action thanks to our helpline's support
- 98.4% of helpline users rated our service as 'excellent' or 'good'
Engagement and Influence
HEART UK is constantly working to keep cholesterol and other blood fat conditions on the healthcare agenda.
This year, we have engaged with:
- 30 key opinion-leaders
- 8 Members of Parliament
- 4 other health charities
We have contributed towards 6 consultations on clinical guidance, from diagnosis through to treatment, long term management and new medications.
We have submitted and has responses from 11 Prime Minister's Questions.
National Cholesterol Month 2020
Our annual campaign to raise awareness of cholesterol achieved significant milestones for the charity this year. Our highlights include:
- 3,308,000 of you viewed our Facebook posts
- We reached 1,966,000 individuals through our social media channels
- 126,000 people got clued-up on cholesterol by completing our quiz, which includes a free download of our easy mini-guide to cholesterol
- 30,000 of you signed up to our monthly e-newsletter, which includes free recipes, tips and news
How your donations can help:
- We support families and friends who have lost a loved one from high cholesterol and ensure they have the right information and help
- It costs £52 to fund every enquiry to our Cholesterol Helpline and give a free information pack
- We spend over £25,000 every year on printing information leaflets
- We run regular campaigns supporting patients and healthcare professionals
- Over 2 million people every year use our website for expert information about cholesterol
- Helping over 830,000 people every year with our online heart healthy recipes
- Over 250 world-class clinicians attend our annual scientific conference every year
- Over 85% of our income goes towards supporting patient care, either directly or through healthcare professionals
A note from the Chief Executive
During 2020, HEART UK has had much to celebrate with our campaigning. This has been as part of a programme of activities and building on last year's success, ensuring that cholesterol and familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) were included in the NHS England Long Term Plan. We were instrumental in getting a target for increasing the 15,000 FH cases already known to 62,500 by 2024. Thanks to HEART UK, this is only 5-year target in the Long Term Plan as the remainder are 10 years.
- We have been making significant efforts over the last 4 years to get FH identified as early as possible. HEART UK is the only charity championing this since it was proven to be so successful in a research study of 10,095 children and published in 2016. We believe screening children for FH should be a national screening programme. Testing children early will lead to whole family screening. We are delighted to say that NHS England has agreed to pilot this approach in England.
- We have made significant inroads for one place for lifelong data for FH. This will help the health systems across the UK to identify FH in other family members in a systematic way which is both life and cost-saving.
- HEART UK contributes to many health consultations carried out by various agencies, including NICE and other similar offices across all countries of the UK. One such consultation was about the NHS Health Checks. We have been championing for this to be reduced from a start age of 40 years old to 30 years old in high cardiovascular risk areas. We also want it more accessible for people to get a cholesterol test and identify other health issues in places outside of the GP practice, particularly in community pharmacists who play a vital role in the population's health.
- We have kept the pressure on the system to prioritise cholesterol testing and reporting and we are pleased to say that we have had success in this area with the introduction of a new programme called CVD Prevent.
Jules Payne, Chief Executive, says: "I am absolutely delighted at the results we have achieved this year, despite the challenges of COVID-19 which we have all faced. By working together we have achieved many successes, which has led to cholesterol no longer being the Cinderella of cardiovascular disease, but it is a priority. Thank you for all your support in helping to achieve this. This simply would not have been possible without your help."