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Heart Disease in Scotland

Heart Disease has been a clinical priority for NHS Scotland for over 15 years.

There are approximately 7,000 deaths in Scotland each year, where coronary heart disease is the underlying cause.

Over the last decade the number of new cases of coronary heart disease in Scotland has decreased by over 27 per cent and mortality rates for coronary heart disease have fallen steadily.

We will continue to build on this achievement through implementation of the Heart Disease Improvement Plan.

Heart Disease Improvement Plan

The Heart Disease Improvement Plan sets out a comprehensive programme for improving services and care for people who have heart disease. The purpose of the Plan is to ensure that the priorities remain current and by reflecting the progress that has been made, build on successes to ensure that in Scotland we continue to strive towards improved prevention, treatment of heart disease with a focus on locally-led quality improvement.

National Advisory Committee on Heart Disease (NACHD)

The NACHD is a national group which coordinates implementation of the Heart Disease Improvement Plan. The Committee convenes three times a year and aims to promote Scotland-wide collaboration, peer support and dissemination of best practice:

The remit of the National Advisory Committee on Heart Disease is to:

  • Co-ordinate and evaluate the implementation of the Heart Disease Improvement Plan
  • Oversee development of national heart disease strategy
  • Provide expert advice to the Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates

The NACHD is chaired by Dr David Murdoch, Consultant Physician and Cardiologist, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow. The NACHD includes representation from clinicians, the third sector and professional groups including public health, planning and pharmacy.


Minutes can be found under related downloads.

Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) Strategy

Our Out-of-hospital Cardiac Arrest A Strategy for Scotland was published in March 2015.

The first Review reporting activities and achievements in delivery of the Strategy was published in November 2016.

The Strategy’s overarching aim is for Scotland to be an international leader for OHCA outcomes by 2020. This is underpinned by two high level aims:-

  • To increase survival rates after an OHCA to save 1,000 additional lives by 2020.

  • To equip an additional 500,000 people in Scotland with Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) skills by 2020 as an essential staging post to increasing rapid bystander intervention in OHCA.

Increasing the incidence of bystander CPR is the cornerstone of improving OHCA outcomes as, delivered promptly, it can increase the likelihood of survival after OHCA by 2 or 3 times. 

The Strategy was devised and is being delivered in partnership with public services, voluntary organisations and communities; building on existing work by services, communities and individuals. 

The OHCA Strategy is an example of public and voluntary services working together to achieve a common aim.  It was devised in a collaboration between the Scottish Government, Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Police Scotland, British Heart Foundation, Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland and the Resuscitation Research Group, University of Edinburgh.