Illnesses and long-term conditions

Heart disease

Heart disease remains a leading cause of death and disability in Scotland. As survival from acute coronary events has increased, more people are living longer with heart disease and may require lifelong care and support.

We recognise the scale and impact of heart disease across Scotland and have set out our strategic direction to address this in our Heart Disease Action Plan 2021, supported by an initial investment of £2.2 million.

The plan seeks to minimise preventable heart disease and to ensure that everyone with suspected heart disease in Scotland has timely and equitable access to diagnosis, treatment and care that supports them in living well with their condition.

It sets four priority areas for action, which are:

  • priority one: prevention - tackling risk factors
  • priority two: timely and equitable access to diagnosis, treatment and care
  • priority three: workforce
  • priority four: effective use of data

The National Heart Disease Task Force oversees implementation of the Heart Disease Action Plan. The task force aims to promote Scotland-wide collaboration, peer support and dissemination of best practice.

The alliance support a Heart Disease Lived Experience Network to ensure that people with lived experience of heart disease are at the centre of the plan’s implementation.

Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA)

Every year, over 3,000 people around Scotland are treated by the Scottish Ambulance Service after having a cardiac arrest.

Scotland’s Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) Strategy 2021 to 2026 reflects progress made since throughout the lifetime of the previous strategy (2015 to 2020), and sets out the next steps the Save a Life for Scotland partnership will take to ensure as many people as possible survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Scotland.

The implementation of the strategy is overseen by the OHCA reference group, chaired by Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director, Scottish Government.

Back to top