AF Association News & Events


All-Party Parliamentary Group on Atrial Fibrillation

The All Party Parliamentary Group on AF (APPG-AF) champions awareness of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) from within the heart of Westminster. 

The APPG-AF looks at a number of ways in which we can improve the treatment and diagnosis of AF and help prevent AF-related stroke. We also work with a broad range of parliamentarians from across the political spectrum to highlight the issue of AF from within parliament. 

The elected Chair of the Group is Barry Sheerman, Labour MP for Huddersfield. The Vice Chairs are Labour MP for Bridgend Madeleine Moon, Conservative Peer Lord Colwyn and Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Jones of Cheltenham.

November 2018

APPG-AF Report - Addressing the Patient Identification Gap in Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

Download the report here

AF Association Healthcare Pioneers Report 2019

Download the report here

AF White Paper 2018
Download here today.

Biosense Webster launches report - The Burden of Atrial Fibrillation: Understanding the Impact of the New Millennium Epidemic Across Europe

Brussels, Belgium – 19 November, 2018 – Biosense Webster EMEA, a Division of Johnson & Johnson Medical NV/SA and leader in the treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (AF) has today, during AF Association Global AF Aware Week, published a report that uncovers the growing burden of AF on patients, caregivers and healthcare systems across Europe.

Download full press release here.

Download full Burden of AF report here.

Download Burden on AF Infographic here.


APRIL 2018

APPG-AF Chair Barry Sheerman Questions the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

Asked by Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield)
Asked on: 18 April 2018


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what is the timetable for the publication of the outcome of the review on the effective, safe and appropriate use of anticoagulation medicines undertaken by the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre.

Answered by: Caroline Dinenage 
Answered on: 27 April 2018

The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre are concluding their rapid overview of review evidence on the effective, safe and appropriate use of anticoagulation medicines. Once concluded, the report will be sent for peer review as part of standard process. It will be published once the scientific quality has been assured.


Asked by Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) 
Asked on: 18 April 2018


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taken to ensure that the (a) views and (b) experiences of (i) stakeholders, (ii) patients and (iii) clinicians, are included in the review of the effective, safe and appropriate use of anticoagulation medicines undertaken by the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre.

Answered by: Caroline Dinenage 
Answered on: 27 April 2018

The literature review commissioned from the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre was intended to assess the clinical evidence published since 2014 on the efficacy, safety, and patient experience of warfarin and direct oral anti coagulants, to guide decision making among National Health Service commissioners, clinicians and patients. It included reviews of stakeholder experiences, including patients and practitioners. The review will be used to inform future policy and identify what additional evidence might be required.


12th December 2017

We were proud to see Lord Black of Brentwood putting forward a question in the House of Lords, demonstrating understanding and importance of AF and anticoagulation: “To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people with a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation who were admitted to hospital with a stroke in 2016-17 were not on an appropriate anti-coagulation therapy prior to admission.”

Read more

Key points:

  • Lord Brentwood: “more than 7,000 people in England who were admitted to hospital with a stroke last year were known to have AF but were not receiving proper therapy. Is my noble friend aware that the National Clinical Directors for cardiovascular disease prevention and stroke recently stated: “Failure to prescribe an important treatment”, such as this, “needs to be seen as an error that is equally as serious as prescribing the wrong treatment”?
  • Lord O’Shaughnessy: “atrial fibrillation is easily diagnosable and treatable.” … “the variation in the prescription of anti-coagulants demonstrates that there is not uniform understanding of the options”
  • Lord Cormack: “I urge my noble friend to try to ensure that greater publicity is given to it”
  • Baroness Jolly: “regular checks of the pulse rate can help indicate whether someone has atrial fibrillation. These should be carried out at the five-yearly general health check that GPs offer to those aged between 40 and 74.”
  • Lord Colwyn: “it is quite clear that many people do not receive the anti-coagulants that they need”… “Since 2012, four novel oral anti-coagulants—NOACs—have been recommended by NICE as both clinically and cost effective for the prevention of stroke in patients with AF.”


Action points:

Lord O’Shaughnessy to write to NHS England to find out could the Government undertake to ascertain from NHS England why the commissioning of day-case ablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation is way below the European average, and report to Baroness Finlay of Llandaff.

Lord O’Shaughnessy to find out how many GP practices routinely call patients for this health check, whether they are paid to do so and how many patients take up the opportunity and report to Baroness Jolly.

3 Novemeber 2017

This week the Atrial Fibrillation Association, with Lord Black of Brentwood, hosted a Know Your Pulse, rhythm check walk-in clinic in the Houses of Parliament.  23 Peers and 7 MPs from across the UK attended.  They had their pulse rhythm checked and learnt about the importance of better detection and treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF).

AF is a condition which causes an irregular pulse[i] and increases a person’s chance of a af-related stroke by four to five times. [ii]  But it can be quickly detected through a pulse rhythm check.  AF-related strokes are largely preventable through effective and well-managed anticoagulation. [iii]  However, even when people are diagnosed with AF, inadequate therapy is common – large numbers do not receive appropriate anticoagulant therapy, or have poor anticoagulant control, so remain at increased risk of AF-related stroke.[iv]

The Atrial Fibrillation Association is calling on the UK National Screening Committee to consider recommending systematic population screening for people over 65 years of age at risk of AF.  Ask your doctor for a pulse check and for more information about the detection, diagnosis and treatment of AF, please visit:

Atrial Fibrillation Association hosted this event with support from Bayer.

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Atrial Fibrillation Meeting - 12 September 2017

The Group's latest meeting at Westminster saw Chair Barry Sheerman leading talks on the next steps for progressing AF within Parliament. The results of a Freedom of Information request on manual pulse rhythm checks was presented to the Group supporting our call for a national screening programme for AF.


Know Your Pulse Event - 16th November 2016

AF Association hosted a Know Your Pulse event on Wednesday16th November at Portcullis House (Westminster) with MPs. We also attended the All Party Parliamentary Group on Atrial Fibrillation at the Palace of Westminster with MP’s, Lords, Health Care Professionals, Public Health England and Industry. The Know your pulse event was all about raising awareness and asking MP’s to sign our pledge for a national screening programme. The meeting was to discuss what we can do in partnership to prevent 16000 AF related strokes per year.


Update from the Autumn APGAF meeting:

Following the recent APPG-AF meeting, Barry Sheerman spoke at Health Questions about NOACs. George Freeman was the responding minister.The full text of the question is below:

Barry Sheerman: What is the good of innovation if we do not use it? For the 1 million people who suffer from atrial fibrillation, the three new NICE-approved drugs are a life saver; they make life worth living. But only about 6.5% to 7% of people have been prescribed the new drugs, as they are being blocked by clinical commissioning groups and GPs. What will the Minister do about that?

George Freeman: The hon. Gentleman is right to raise the matter. We have all seen it coming in recent years. Extraordinary advances in science are developing a huge range of new products, which our system is having to adjust to cope with, and that is precisely why I launched the review last week with NICE and the MHRA. We must look at these transformational technologies that bring new opportunities to our services and at how we can design a system that is better able to target innovations to the patients who need them.

Autumn 2014 meeting
Wednesday 19 November 2014

What are the barriers preventing patients from accessing the treatments most appropriate to their condition?

With presentations from, Professor Sir Michael Rawlins, Chairman of the Eastern Academic Health Science Network and former NICE Chair – What factors prevent patients from accessing treatments, and how can we resolve this? Celia Ingham Clark, Director of Reducing Premature Mortality, NHS England – What is NHS England doing to increase access to AF treatments? and Dr Dhiraj Gupta – Barriers to AF treatments, a clinical perspective.

The meeting aims to examine the barriers which prevent patients from accessing the AF treatments most appropriate to their condition and to identify solutions to overcome them. 

Discussions will build on earlier APPG-AF meetings which have examined this issue and will assess what, if any, progress has been made.

Following the meeting, a report will be developed which will be sent to Jane Ellison MP, the Minister responsible for AF and leading figures within NHS England.

Please email for further information.

Launch of SAFI report

Tuesday 1 April 2014: Our founder and CEO, Trudie Lobban MBE, was in Westminster earlier today for the launch of a new report: NOACS, Innovation in Anticoagulation. Here, she is pictured with Graham Evans, MP for Weaver Vale.

AF Association was invited to participate in the event, hosted by Glyn Davies MP on behalf of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Stroke in Atrial Fibrillation Initiative (ABPI SAFI).

MPs were on hand to learn more about anticoagulation and the importance of quality services and equity of access to treatments for AF patients.

View press release

Download report


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