People in Milton Keynes urged to get checked for heart condition

Stephen Hillier, Cabinet Member for Children  Start of Life
Stephen Hillier, Cabinet Member for Children  Start of Life

A new campaign to encourage people to get tested for Atrial Fibrillation is about to start in Milton Keynes.

Commonly known as ‘AF’, Atrial Fibrillation is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often very fast heart rate and is currently under-diagnosed. AF can cause problems including dizziness, shortness of breath and tiredness but often causes no symptoms at all. Diagnosing and treating AF can reduce the risk of stroke.

The aim of the Autumn AF campaign is to detect this condition, which often goes un-diagnosed, to reduce the number of strokes caused by AF.

Attention is drawn to all things ‘blood pressure’ with ‘Know Your Numbers Week’ taking place this week until 20th September and NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is encouraging people to also think about their wider ‘heart health’ and speak to their GP about AF.

The tests, which involve a simple pulse check, can help to identify AF. From October, new blood pressure monitors that detect AF are being supplied to each GP practice in Milton Keynes to help increase the diagnosis rate of this condition and get the Autumn AF campaign underway.

Dr Nicola Smith, Chair of NHS Milton Keynes CCG, said: “Identifying AF can play a significant role in reducing strokes. From October, we will be working with our local GPs to do a push on AF testing to ensure that people living with the condition are identified and able to access the appropriate treatment. Although AF is relatively common, it is not widely known so we’d like to raise public awareness and understanding.”

For more information about AF visit http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Atrial-fibrillation