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Poole hosts region's biggest conference on heart failure

The largest conference on heart failure in the south takes place in Poole next week.

The South Coast Heart Failure Update attracts attendees ranging from consultant cardiologists and GPs to nurse specialists, with more than 90 health professionals from across the south coast expected this year.

It is the third year the conference, organised by Dr Christopher Boos, consultant cardiologist at Poole Hospital, has taken place, and is set to be the biggest ever.

Its aim is to share best practice and clinical expertise to improve the care patients with heart failure in Dorset and beyond receive. Each year, the condition affects around 900,000 people in the UK with the average age for diagnosis 76.

One of the key items on the agenda this year is the launch of a new heart failure diagnostic pathway, which for the first time will cover the whole of Dorset.

The new pathway will standardise the use of a simple blood test to help identify at-risk patients and improve the diagnosis of heart failure.

The new test has been welcomed by GPs, who believe it will be of great benefit to patients.

“We are really pleased to be able to offer patients this new blood test,” said Dr Richard Holmes, a Bournemouth-based GP.

“This will allow us to easily assess patients with suspected heart failure within a week, and I’m confident that this new initiative will also improve the patient experience and outcomes.”

Dr Boos said being able to learn about new initiatives like the standardised blood test make the conference a real attraction.

“It’s a highly popular event and one that garners a lot of interest among health professionals with a keen interest in heart failure,” explains Dr Boos.

“In the three year’s it has been running we have seen increasing numbers attending, and more and more industry partners keen to take advantage of its size and scope.

“The conference is about sharing best practice, experiences and new ways of diagnosing and treating heart failure, which affects almost a million people a year in the UK, predominantly the elderly.

“Last year’s event was heavily over-subscribed and I’m expecting a great attendance this year.”

The event takes place at The Haven Hotel, Sandbanks, on 17 April, and is co-chaired by Dr Paul Kalra, from Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, and Dr Peter Cowburn, heart failure lead at Southampton Hospital.

Date: 11 April 2012

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