Atrial Fibrillation

The Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Programme was a 2-year national programme mandated by NHS England which concluded in March 2020. To see the results of that programme, please visit the AF Programme page.

AF continues as part of the Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Prevention Programme to support legacy work from the national AF programme.

Delivery in the North East and North Cumbria


Supporting local clinicians using the mobile ECG device, AliveCor, we supplied a number of devices from the 2018-2020 AF national programme. Further information about the use of AliveCor across NENC, particularly in novel non-healthcare settings, can be found in this report.

In 2021, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) and Community Cardiology Nurses won an AFA Healthcare Pioneer Award, for their work to improve the detection and treatment of AF. Cumbria FRS used AliveCor as part of their Safe and Well visits which included pulse checking, alcohol reduction, smoking cessation, social wellbeing and falls. Read more about this work.

Detection of irregular pulses during a diabetes foot check

We continue to spread learning from the ‘detection of irregular pulses during a diabetes foot check’ to all parts of the NENC area by working with the Northern Diabetes Footcare Clinical Network and beyond. Diabetes is a common condition affecting 3.4M people across England. Patients with diabetes have their pulse checked as part of their annual foot check review and all patients aged 12 and over should be offered a foot check. It is important to detect the presence or absence of a foot pulse to prevent diabetes complications.

The work was shortlisted for the Advancing Healthcare Awards 2020 in the Faculty of Public Health and Public Health England award for contributions to public health, and a case study has been requested by PHE to be shared with the World Health Organisation. For information about the pilot, download the ‘Stop a Stroke, Save a Life’ flyer. The aim is that this will become standard practice across the country, and we are contributing to work to make this happen.

Partnership Working

We are working with collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb [BMS] on behalf of BMS-Pfizer Alliance, to reduce AF related strokes through the optimisation of anticoagulation medicine. Local services will be enhanced through the implementation of service improvement initiatives designed to deliver sustained improvements in the AF care pathway for patients who are registered in GP practices across the Southern Collaborative. Read more about this project.


The 2nd edition of the AF Card Deck is available at

This is a resource aimed at primary care for Anticoagulant Treatment in Atrial Fibrillation For Thromboprophylaxis and is currently being updated after new NICE Guidelines was released in 2021. A third edition will be available shortly, as a web app with a small number of hard copies offered too.

Many resources in relation to AF can be found in the National AF Toolkit


For more information about the AF element of the CVD Prevention Programme contact Kate Mackay or Nikki Holdsworth.