Cardiovascular Working Group

About this Working Group
The cardiovascular working group (CV WG) of the South Asian Health Foundation seeks to promote improvements in cardiovascular health, disease and healthcare in South Asians where these are found to be inferior to other segments of the population.

It has represented South Asian health interests at a national, regional and local level - the SAHF CV WG has become a highly respected voice at these levels. We have so far provided advice to: Government Health Committees, NICE (National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence) Guideline groups and appraisal committees, National Heart Forum, British Heart Foundation, NGO Forum, West Midlands Cardiac Strategic Review, WELLCOME, National electronic library for health and the British Cardiovascular Society. SAHF has assisted the Department of Health to produce a toolkit highlighting models of good practice in management and prevention of heart disease in South Asians. This document has been widely distributed throughout the UK and SAHF continues to promote its distribution and was contributed to by several members of the SAHF board. SAHF has therefore increased awareness of models of good practice in healthcare delivery to ethnic minorities. The Cardiovascular working group gave specific advice to the Department of Health on the Health Checks programme launched in April 2009. SAHF CVD has contributed to the steering group of Cardio/Vascular Coalition of over 30 voluntary sector organisations. www.cardiovascularcoalition.org.uk.

The SAHF CV WG has also delivered health promotion and education to healthcare professionals and communities. The SACHE (South Asian Community Health Education and Empowerment Campaign) programme was designed by the UK charity South Asian Health Foundation to provide health education to patients, the public and health professionals, for the primary and secondary prevention of heart disease. Its aim was to deliver a heart health education campaign at a grassroots level tailored to the diverse needs of each South Asian community, delivered in a language, format and style familiar to these communities. SAHCE was piloted in communities by medical members of SAHF working in local general practices and hospitals. The success of these initial community education sessions led to the planning and delivery of many more education sessions across the UK.

SAHF CV has also facilitated high quality scholarship and research – many of the group are academics, working on research projects in South Asian health. Many academic meetings have been organised by the group, the first being the 2001 symposium entitled ‘The epidemic of coronary heart disease in South Asian populations: causes and consequences’ which was held in London. The symposium was attended by 50 eminent individuals, including Professor Liam Donaldson (Chief Medical Officer) both from the UK and abroad, each of whom played an important role in cardiovascular disease and ethnicity ranging from research to healthcare delivery. The symposium was co-hosted by the Department of Health and the British Heart Foundation. On December 17th 2004, SAHF organised a symposium entitled ‘Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation of Cardiovascular Disease in South Asians: Implementing Good Practice,’ co-hosted by the BHF and Department of Health. This was attended by nearly 200 delegates from a wide range of backgrounds from the health service (ranging from Chief Medical Officers to medical and nursing students), academia and the general public. In December 2005, SAHF hosted a national conference on ‘CHD in South Asians: A Workshop of Experts to Identify Research Needs and Promote Good Practice’ at the BMA House in London. This was attended by over 100 experts and lively debate resulted in the publication of consensus documents on risk prediction, lifestyle factors (a session co-hosted with the National Heart Forum), diabetes and metabolic syndrome and access issues. In 2011 at the annual conference, SAHF CV WG hosted a workshop on CV prevention projects from around the country, attracting eight other groups to showcase the success of other community projects alongside the success of SAHCE.

SAHF CV has its own keynote publication, ‘The epidemic of coronary heart disease in South Asian populations: causes and consequences.’ This is a high quality publication (with excellent reviews in several medical journals) on the topic of ethnicity and cardiovascular disease. It has already been widely distributed throughout the UK, to the lead cardiologist in every NHS Trust, medical libraries, all UK university libraries, healthcare professionals and healthcare organisations as well as relevant individuals. Nearly 1000 copies have been distributed, with contributions gratefully acknowledged from the Department of Health and British Heart Foundation.

Working Group Members
​Dr Mahendra Patel (Chair)
Dr Justin Zaman 
Prof Raj Bhopal
Dr Paramjit Gill
Ms Ranjit Dhillon 
Dr Pankaj Sharma
Ms Chetali Agrawal
Dr Kiran Patel
Dr Amitava Banerjee
Dr Rumeena Gujral
Dr Ami Banerjee