Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group
Taking a pulse
NHS Dorset CCG named as Healthcare Pioneer
13 November 2017

Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group has been announced as one of the AF Association Healthcare Pioneers 2018 for a project which has helped to identity a heart rhythm disorder (Atrial Fibrillation or AF) in nearly 500 local people in the last year alone who may not have otherwise been diagnosed.

With a population of over 750,000 which includes 187,456 over 65-year olds and a higher prevalence of AF compared to the National prevalence; NHS Dorset CCG embarked on a four-year project to opportunistically screen and identify people with Atrial Fibrillation whilst attending flu vaccination clinics.

65% of the 98 Practices in Dorset undertook the initiative in 2016/17 which resulted in 60,634 patients aged 65 or over receiving a manual pulse check whilst attending for a flu vaccination. Of these, 2,514 patients were referred for an electrocardiogram (ECG) at which 469 new patients were diagnosed with new AF.

Nichola Arathoon, Principal Programme Lead at Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group said: “This project is an excellent example of how health partners can work together to identify health conditions in those people who may not regularly use services and not be aware they could be at risk.

Since we launched the project we have seen nearly 1,300 people diagnosed with AF, meaning we are able to support them in reducing their personal risk and ultimately save lives.

We are thrilled with the award and I would like to thank all my colleagues in GP practices across the county who have taken part in the project to date.”

AF or atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia (heart rhythm disorder) affecting more than 16 million people around the world. Every 15 seconds someone suffers an AF-related stroke, yet most can be prevented using appropriate anticoagulation therapy.

NHS Dorset CCG were awarded Showcasing Best Practice in AF winners for the project at the AFA conference which was held at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham.

For more information on AF please visit

AF Aware Week takes place 20 – 26 November