East London GPs miss top award for cholesterol drugs that saved 37 lives

A project that has helped prevent 37 heart attacks or deaths in east London has been pipped at the post for a prestigious national award.

The project developed at the London Unity’s Queen Mary’s College involves GPs prescribing anti-cholesterol drugs called statins to patients known to have angina or to those who had previously had a heart attack.

These reduce the risk of heart attack or strokes later in life.

It was one of three projects listed by the National Institute for Health & Clinical Excellence from hundreds across the country. But it just missed the top accolade at their annual conference yesterday, which went to doctors in Manchester.

Dr John Robson, a Tower Hamlets GP in lecturer at Queen Mary’s, said: “We provided 150 practices with support to deal with London’s highest heart disease rate.

“It was crucial that health professionals were aware of how to lower the cholesterol of those most at risk.”

Prescriptions rose from 65 per cent seven years ago in Tower Hamlets and neighbouring Hackney and Newham to 93 per cent last year. This resulted in an estimated 37 fewer heart attacks or deaths in the last 12 months as a result.