The management of heart failure (HF) is complex. As a consequence, most cardiology society guidelines now state that HF care should be delivered in a multiprofessional manner. The evidence base for this approach now means that the establishment of HF management programmes is a priority. This document aims to summarize the key elements which should be involved in, as well as some more desirable features which can improve the delivery of care in a HF management programme, while bearing in mind that the specifics of the service may vary from site to site. We envisage a situation whereby all patients have access to the best possible care, including improved access to palliative care services, informed by and responsive to advances in diagnosis management and treatment. The goal should be to provide a 'seamless' system of care across primary and hospital care so that the management of every patient is optimal, no matter where they begin or continue their health-care journey.