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Valve for Life - United Kingdom

Valve for Life Initiative welcomes the United Kingdom on board

After the successful launch of the Valve for Life Initiative  in Poland and France (2015), and in Portugal (2017), it was decided to include a fourth country to the initiative. The United Kingdom joined the initiative in 2020.

Country situation – challenges

Heart valve disease affects 1.5 million people in the UK and is fatal if left untreated.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) has been introduced as a less invasive procedure, reducing hospital resources - but access to TAVI is limited with profound geographical inequity.

In 2019 alone, there were up to 450 deaths in the UK as a result of long waiting times for TAVI.

Today, MPs, Clinicians and Charity Leaders launch Valve for Life, an initiative campaigning to fast track patients to TAVI.

The UK Valve for Life initiative aims to improve and expand access to life-saving and life-changing minimally invasive ‘key-hole’ therapies for heart valve disease across the National Health Service (NHS).


Expectations and results

Valve for Life aims to increase patient access to minimally invasive therapies such as trans-catheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and trans-catheter mitral valve leaflet repair, so that patients can be treated quickly, successfully, and equally wherever in the United Kingdom they may be. 

Valve for Life Research - TAVI In The UK

Valve for Life conducted a survey of all 35 TAVI centres in England. The aim was to establish the capacity of centres and therefore assess regional capacity, as well as to review the challenges each centre faces, especially in terms of future expansion for the therapy.

  • >5,000 TAVI procedures took place in 2019 in England with similar figures expected in 2020
  • 48% of TAVI centres in England perform the procedure two days per week
  • 52% of centres are unable to increase their capacity for TAVI procedures
  • 72% of centres state Catheter Lab Capacity as a factor that restricts TAVI expansion

​The results can be found on the dedicated Valve for Life UK website.

For more information on Valve for Life UK, visit the dedicated website.

Country Champions: Daniel Blackman
Last update: December 2020