APPTG Annual Conference 2018
The All-Party Parliamentary Thrombosis Group held its Annual Conference on Thursday 29th November 2018, which was attended by over 100 delegates from a broad range of clinical and charitable backgrounds.
The conference was chaired this year by Lyn Brown MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Thrombosis Group and the Member of Parliament for West Ham. In her opening address, Lyn gave an overview of the key findings of the Annual Survey Report, highlighting that although a number of VTE management and care practices are now firmly established, there are concerns that some of these standards are slipping, highlighted by the drop of 1% in the number of VTE risk assessments undertaken from April 2017 to March 2018. A copy of the full report can be downloaded here.
There were three key presentations on the day from a range of experts from across the VTE care and management landscape. Attendees first heard from Professor Beverley Hunt, Professor of Thrombosis & Haemostasis at King’s College London and Medical Director of Thrombosis UK on the topics of adherence to the NICE guideline on VTE risk assessments and thromboprophlyaxis use. In her presentation Professor Hunt highlighted that there was some confusion across the NHS as to which risk assessment model should be used and why the new NICE guidelines were seen as controversial and often not adhered to.
Attendees heard next from Kieron Power, Lead VTE Clinic Pharmacist at Singleton Hospital. His presentation gave an informative insight into Cancer Associated Thrombosis (CAT) and how the care the patient receives can be improved. An important aspect of this was raising awareness of CAT in all cancer patients using a range of materials such as patient leaflets and videos.
Eve Knight, Chief Executive of Anticoagulation UK, concluded the presentations by giving an overview of the charity’s recently published Out of Range report, which focused on anticoagulation management in secondary care in England based on an audit of NHS Trusts. A key finding was that only 38% of responding Trusts said they provide more than leaflets to patients to support their understanding of AF and adherence to treatment.
Following the presentations, Lyn Brown invited Frances Akor, consultant pharmacist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Rebecca Chanda, highly specialist pharmacist (anticoagulation safety) at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Janet Davies, joint clinical lead of the Liverpool Anticoagulation Service on to the stage, as well as welcoming back Professor Beverley Hunt, Eve Knight and Kieron Power.
There were energetic discussions on a range of topics, including the variation between CCGs in the ways in which they recorded and monitored how VTE risk assessments were undertaken. Questions were asked regarding how this could be unified to ensure that VTE risk assessments, which were an important topic on the day, were maintained. There was also interest in the figure from the annual report that although 90% of CCGs clearly mandated that failure to comply with best practice in VTE prevention will result in consequences imposed by the CCG, sanctions were rarely, if ever, brought against Trusts failing to undertake or record VTE risk assessment.
The conference concluded with Lyn opening the floor to the attendees, giving them a chance to network with the other guests and discuss additional topics with the expert panellists.
Plans are now underway for our programme of activities for 2019, and Lyn Brown urged attendees to write to their MPs and relevant charities to ensure that the momentum generated by the annual conference is maintained as we move into 2019.
The slides from the meeting can be downloaded here.