Specialist centre standards remain high

Posted on February 21st 2022

The latest data from the National Audit of Pulmonary Hypertension shows specialist treatment centres in Great Britain have maintained high standards through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK National Audit of Pulmonary Hypertension (NAPH) is the largest audit of pulmonary hypertension in the world.   

It was created in 2009 to measure quality of care by collecting and reporting on data across the UK’s specialist centres, and the findings are used to inform future service planning.

Centres are measured against agreed national standards, with set targets – and despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the latest findings show centres continued to perform well.

Every year, at the PHA UK we put together a summary report of the key findings from the audit. You can view this report here. It will also be published in the spring issue of Emphasis.

All eight specialist PH centres covering England, Scotland and Wales took part in the latest audit, which looked at performance between 1st April 2020 and 31st March 2021.

At a national level, eight of the 14 established National Standards were met. Failure to meet certain standards was not unexpected due to the disruption caused by the national emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on clinical services and patient access to them.

Professor David Kiely, Lead Clinician of the National Audit of PH, said: “Once again, this national audit has demonstrated the high levels of care delivered by our network of specialist centres. Patients and their families should feel reassured by the data, which is reflective of the hard work of teams and individuals across the NHS.”

You can view the full findings of the audit, published by NHS Digital, here.

At the PHA UK we played an important part in the creation of the audit by funding its first year. Since then, we have continued to provide support and advice on behalf of the patient community.

PHA UK Chair Dr Iain Armstrong was asked to provide the foreword for this year’s report into the National Audit of PH. He said:

I am very reassured that the service has continued to deliver high quality care throughout the pandemic. It is also commendable that despite having the opportunity to ‘opt out’ of this year’s audit, all of the centres chose to submit data.

Keeping patients at the centre of healthcare is vital as we move out of the pandemic. And as we start to look ahead, this report gives me great confidence in our network of specialist centres – which truly are the envy of the world.”

The audit is delivered by NHS Digital and commissioned by NHS England. It is also supported by NHS Scotland, NHS Wales (GIG Cymru), and the National Pulmonary Hypertension Centres of United Kingdom and Ireland Physicians’ Committee.