Review decision: 

Guidance will not be updated at this time.

Next review: To be scheduled

This guidance aims to help NHS and other staff identify and provide services for people who are disadvantaged and most at risk of dying early from heart disease. Disadvantaged people include those who are living on a low income, those who are homeless and people with disabilities.

This guideline was previously called identifying and supporting people most at risk of dying prematurely.

The risk of dying early could be reduced by providing services to help people stop smoking and treatment for high cholesterol and other conditions that increase the risk of heart disease. 

NICE recommendations include the following advice:

  • GPs and other NHS staff working outside hospitals, and local authorities should set up systems to identify people who are disadvantaged and at high risk of heart disease.
  • NHS organisations and local authorities should work together to provide flexible services to improve the health of these people. This might include advice and help offered in drop-in clinics and other places people can get to easily, at times that suit them. Information should be provided in a language people understand.
  • The NHS and local authorities should ensure services aiming to improve the health of people who are disadvantaged are coordinated and that there are enough people trained to run them.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.

Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.