Project: Heart failure policy and practice in Europe

Heart failure policy and practice in Europe
Heart failure policy and practice in Europe investigates heart failure policy, system performance and care delivery in 11 countries.

What is Heart failure policy and practice in Europe?

Heart failure policy and practice in Europe aims to better equip national advocates across Europe to hold decision-makers to account in terms of plans and performance in the area of heart failure (HF).

The growing prevalence of HF threatens the sustainability of our healthcare systems, so concerted action is urgently required. Yet few policymakers recognise the magnitude of the HF challenge, both in terms of its economic and societal impact, and it has been ignored as a health system priority for decades.

In response to the clear need to advance HF policy and care, the HFPN embarked on a critique of HF policy and system performance in 11 European countries. This work, which is the natural successor to The handbook of multidisciplinary and integrated heart failure care, identifies critical gaps in HF policy and system performance, and promotes best practice in HF policy and care delivery.

The project will officially launch with the publication of all 12 reports on 17 November 2020. It will then form the basis of the HFPN’s advocacy efforts in 2021 and beyond.

How was this work developed?

The HFPN began by developing a list of elements for consideration in each country: the HF policy and practice indicators. These indicators fall into two domains: policy indicators are those that focus on the status and comprehensiveness of HF policies and guidance, while practice indicators aim to capture the reality of clinical practice.

Policy indicators:

  • Formal plans on HF
  • Investment in integrated HF models and facilitative tools
  • Development of the HF healthcare workforce
  • Guidance and local care pathways for delivery of quality care
  • Registries, audits and high-level assessment initiatives

Practice indicators:

  • Diagnosis
  • Hospital care and discharge
  • Key components of quality care in community settings
  • Tools and methods to support multidisciplinary and integrated ongoing HF care

These indicators were used to investigate the reality of HF policy and care delivery in Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

Project Advisory Group

Josep Comín-Colet
Cardiologist; Director of Cardiology, University Hospital Bellvitge; Director, South Metropolitan Barcelona Integrated Heart Failure Programme; Director, Cardiovascular Disease Research Group, IDIBELL
Andrzej Gackowski
Cardiologist; Head of the Non-invasive Cardiovascular Laboratory, John Paul II Hospital Krakow; Past-President, HF Working Group of the Polish Society of Cardiology
José Ramón González Juanatey
Cardiologist; Professor of Cardiology and Director of the Cardiology and Intensive Care Department, University Hospital Santiago de Compostela; Past-President, Spanish Society of Cardiology
Anne-Catherine Pouleur
Cardiologist; Head of Cardiology, Clinique universitaires Saint-Luc; President, Belgian Working Group on Heart Failure and Cardiac Function
José Silva-Cardoso
Cardiologist; Associate Professor, University of Porto; Coordinator, Heart Failure Working Group of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology
Salvatore Di Somma
Internist and Cardiologist; Professor of Medicine, University of Rome La Sapienza; President of Scientific Committee, Italian Association of Patients with Heart Failure (AISC)
Joana Pimenta
Internist; Invited Assistant Professor, University of Porto; Deputy Coordinator, Heart Failure Working Group of the Portuguese Society of Internal Medicine
Ekaterini Lambrinou
Cardiology and Gerontology Specialist Nurse; Associate Professor, Cyprus University of Technology; Past-Chair, ESC Association of Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions
Sandra Mulrennan
Heart Failure Specialist Nurse; St Bartholomew’s Hospital Heart Failure Service, Barts Health NHS Trust
Elizabeth Killeen
Heart Failure Specialist Nurse, Community Healthcare West, Galway
Bert Vaes
General Practitioner; Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, KU Leuven
Steven Macari
Founder and President, Association Vie Et Cœur (AVEC)
Neil Johnson
Chief Executive, Croí, West of Ireland Cardiac Foundation; President, Global Heart Hub
Pascal Garel
Chief Executive, HOPE (European Hospital and Healthcare Federation) 


The development of Heart failure policy and practice in Europe was made possible with financial support from Novartis Pharma, AstraZeneca and Vifor Pharma.