There are 28 cardiac and stroke networks in the country. They play an important part in implementation of national strategies, enabling high-quality services to be planned and delivered to patients within the framework of primary and community care. One of the most useful contributions of the networks is provision of education and training for primary care staff. The “Back to Basics” material in this supplement forms the backbone of what is presented at study days. The articles cover some of the most common cardiovascular conditions that are seen in primary care, showing clearly what causes the symptoms, how best to assess and manage patients, and how the treatments actually work. They help healthcare workers both to understand these conditions and to explain them to patients, and therefore really improve patient care.