High standards of PH care continue across GB

Posted on February 27th 2024

The latest National Audit of Pulmonary Hypertension sends a reassuring message that standards of PH care remain high – despite huge pressures on the NHS.

Read our summary report here

The National Audit of Pulmonary Hypertension (NAPH) sets out to measure the quality of care provided to people who are referred to pulmonary hypertension services in Great Britain. Data is collected from all the centres in England, and from the Scottish Pulmonary Vascular Unit in Glasgow.

The audit is performed by NHS England, and supported by NHS Scotland, NHS Wales, the PH Professionals Group and the National Pulmonary Hypertension Centres of United Kingdom and Ireland Physicians’ Committee.

Here at the PHA UK we continue to support the audit on behalf of the patient community, after funding its first year in 2009. And every year we bring our PH community the key findings in a clear and accessible way, after members told us which of the measures are most important to them.

The audit measures the quality of care by assessing whether patients receive the right treatment in a timely manner, whether the services are appropriate, and what the outcomes are for patients. It reports on performance against agreed national standards, and ten of the 15 standards were met at national level in 2022-23.


99% of patients referred to a specialist were diagnosed within 6 months. (95% target) This represents a 3% improvement from the previous year!

97% of patients received a right heart catheterisation before being given drugs to treat PH. (95% target) This represents a 4% improvement from the previous year!

95% of patients who have had at least one consultation in the last year have had an EmPHasis-10 quality of life score recorded (90% target). Here at the PHA UK we championed the introduction of this standard because quality of life is so important.

97% of patients taking PH medication have had at least one consultation within the last 13 months. (95% target) All consultation types, including those not in-person, are included in this standard and statistic.

Professor David Kiely, Director of the Sheffield Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit and Lead Clinician, National Audit of PH, said: “The 14th Annual Report demonstrates that the national network of PH centres continues to provide high quality care, despite more patients being evaluated and commenced on PH therapies than at any time since its inception. This should provide reassurance to people affected by PH, commissioners, and healthcare professionals, at a time when the NHS is experiencing unprecedented pressures.”


More patients than ever are being seen by specialist centres: The number of new referrals to PH centres has increased year-on-year, except in 2020-21 (during the COVID-19 pandemic). The number of new referrals has almost doubled in 14 years – from 1,861 in 2009-10 (the first year of the Audit) to 3,585 in 2022-23.

The number of patients starting PH treatment is the highest it has been since the Audit began: 1,049 people started therapy in 2022-23, increasing from 743 people in 2009-10, the first year of the Audit.

View the full findings from the audit here