PHA UK welcomes findings of pulmonary hypertension audit

PHA UK has welcomed the findings of research into how those with the condition are cared for.

View our summary of the findings here

The National Audit of Pulmonary Hypertension report, published on 23rd March 2017 by NHS Digital, shows that patients receive timely and high quality care, with many of the standards set by the audit being met.

PHA UK has welcomed the findings, which show that over 7000 patients were managed across the specialist NHS adult treatment centres in the UK between 1st April 2015 and 31st March 2016.

The report shows that 86 per cent of those referred to a specialist centre attended a consultation or were discharged within 90 days, exceeding the standard of 75 per cent. Forty-five per cent were seen or discharged within 30 days, exceeding the standard of 40 per cent.

Ninety-two per cent of patients taking PH-specific drugs have had at least one consultation at a specialist centre within the last 13 months, and 99 per cent of patients received a firm diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension before drug treatment was started – exceeding the standard set.

The national audit has taken place each year since 2010 and is the largest of its kind in the world. This is the first time it has used standards to measure clinical practice.

Iain Armstrong, Chair of PHA UK, said: “The specialist pulmonary hypertension centres in the UK are the envy of the world and it’s fantastic to see this audit confirming such high standards of care. It demonstrates that the PH service continues to deliver high standards, even with such huge pressures on many areas of the NHS.

“PH is a life-limiting and life-threatening disease, but it can often take a long time for patients to be referred to a specialist centre, because their symptoms can be confused for more common conditions like asthma. Therefore, it’s vital that once they have been referred they are assessed quickly, so it’s particularly encouraging to see the centres exceeding the standards in this area.

“The standards used to measure performance were retrospectively applied and provide a benchmark for future years, to drive quality of care even higher.”

The National Audit of Pulmonary Hypertension was founded by Dr Simon Gibbs, lead clinician and honorary consultant cardiologist for the National Pulmonary Hypertension Service at Hammersmith Hospital in London.

It has run annually since 2010, and was funded by the PHA UK in its first year. The audit is now funded via NHS Specialised Commissioning in England, and managed by NHS Digital.

PHA UK has put together a summary of the findings of the audit, following consultation with patients about which aspects they were most interested in. You can view our summary here


Last medically reviewed: March, 2017 • March, 2020