News & Information For Arrhythmia Clinicians

NSF Chapter 8

The National Service Framework (NSF) Chapter 8 on Arrhythmias and Sudden Cardiac Death

Houses of Parliament

What is a National Service Framework (NSF)?

A National Service Framework is a blueprint for provision of services for a particular condition. They set down the standards of services people should accept in the National Health Service, and a quality framework against which local services can secure improvements.

How did the National Service Framework for Arrhythmias and Sudden Cardiac Death originate?

In 2004, an alliance of charitable organisations with a common interest in arrhythmias was formed. The aim of this formation was to lobby for the writing of a new Chapter on Arrhythmias and Sudden Cardiac Death in the National Service Framework (NSF) for Coronary Heart Disease. Before lobbying began, the word ‘arrhythmia’ was only mentioned once in the NSF; there were no guidelines dictating diagnosis, treatment or care for those with heart disorders relating to the ‘electrics’ of the heart.

Primarily due to awareness raising and lobbying activities and a successful reception in the Houses of Parliament, the new Chapter 8 on Arrhythmias and Sudden Cardiac Death was published in 2005.

Arrhythmia Alliance became a registered charity in 2005 to ensure that the Quality Requirements for diagnosis, treatment, care and support as written in the Chapter would be implemented across England.

Arrhythmia Alliance has published a booklet to act as a summary of the National Service Framework produced by the Department of Health - please click here to download "National Requirements – Local implementation Summary of National Service Framework for Arrhythmias & Sudden Cardiac Death".

To view the full NSF Chapter click here.



Read the NSF and information provided on the Department of Health website to understand the service standards that people with arrhythmia and their families should expect. Monitor the implementation of the NSF in your area; find out what plans your local Primary Care Trust and Cardiac Network have in place.

A-A is keen to hear of examples of where things are working well, and also where they are not. If you have an arrhythmia, or have a friend or loved-one with an arrhythmia, and your care has fallen short of the standards recommended in this new NSF, let us know.

What is the progress of the NSF?

Much has happened in the development of the NSF since its creation in 2005, but there is still an enormous amount to do. Read ‘A progress report’ by Mike Yates, former head of Heart Services, Department of Health.

Get in touch for more help and information

+44 (0) 1789 867


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