Introduction The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is a UK charity organisation established in 1961 by medical professionals who were concerned about the increasing heart diseases and high death rates resulting from heart diseases. They then decided to fund extra research into the causes of heart diseases, teach the public on preventive measures to avoid developing such diseases, and provide free diagnosis and treatment. The organisation has been funding various activities including education, care and cardiovascular research. BHF relies mostly on voluntary donations to meet its goals, though part of its income is obtained from investments.
It also collaborates with other organisations in combating disabilities and premature deaths resulting from cardiovascular disease, which helps it to attract income from other sources such as government grants and contracts (BHF, 2012). BHF internal and external environmentBHF has a chain of charity shops throughout the UK as well as in Scotland and Wales. According to Retail Technology Review (2011), the organisation had established over 600 retail shops and over 80 furniture and electrical shops by 2010. On average, the retail shops have been making approximately 13 percent of the organisation’s annual income in recent years (Retail Technology Review, 2011).
These shops are staffed predominantly by slightly more than 10,000 volunteers. Each of them has a manager, a shop assistant and in some cases, a retail assistant, all of whom are paid. According to BHF (2012), the organisation focuses on five major goals in addressing the issue of cardiovascular health. First, BHF is involved in continuous research into the causes of heart-related diseases and has more than 260 nurses providing free care services for individuals with cardiac diseases across the UK.
Secondly, it provides vital information related to the causes of heart diseases and efficient prevention methods in order to help people to reduce risks of developing heart diseases (Jowett, et al, 2007, p. 8). For instance, the organisation has established over 1,620 Heartstart schemes in the UK to educate people on the causes of heart diseases and the preventive measures they need to undertake (BHF, 2012). The schemes also alert people on how they should respond to all emergency situations, including those not related to cardiac problems.
The Heartstart programme also engages in direct training and by 2010, it had trained more than 1.2 million people in schools and communities in the UK (BHF, 2012). The charity organisation is also involved in massive campaigns meant to push the government to develop policies that will help to minimise chances of people developing heart and circulatory diseases. It stresses the need for health organisations to attain the highest possible standards of care and support for individuals who have already developed heart diseases (Jowett, et al, 2007, p.
8). In addition, BHF is well known for pushing health organisations and other private and public institutions to collaborate in reducing inequalities in the treatment of individuals with heart diseases across the UK. BHF funding largely focuses on research, care and prevention. In 2010 for instance, the organisation spent £48.4 million on research, which accounted for 57% of its income (BHF, 2012). A significant portion of the income (41 percent) was allocated for care and prevention activities such as ongoing activities in healthcare centres, placing of defibrillators and producing heart health resources for individuals of all ages.
Part of the income is sometimes used in the establishment of new programmes and facilities as well as in the organisation’s Heart Information Series.