Aug 21 2009 by Ian Russell, Kilmarnock Standard
THE British Heart Foundation has awarded NHS Ayrshire and Arran £250,000 to help lead the UK-wide fight against heart disease inequalities.
The heart charity’s major cash boost comes as part of its £9 million Hearty Lives programme to reduce geographical inequalities in heart disease.
At present, statistics show that people living in parts of Ayrshire and Arran are more than twice as likely to die from coronary heart disease before they reach pension age than those who are living in the south east of England.
The new funding will allow NHS Ayrshire and Arran to run trials for a new and innovative programme that could lay the foundation and eventually provide a model for other health services throughout the UK.
BHF Scotland Community Development Manager Claire Fraser said: "This project will provide patients with additional support that will help them to enjoy better, longer and healthier lives."
Janet McKay, consultant cardiology nurse with the local health board, said: “NHS Ayrshire and Arran welcome the support of the BHF to help improve the psychological aspects of heart disease especially in vulnerable groups and those living in deprived areas.”
The partnership will also work with community groups to implement the programme, which will run over the next three years.