The charity has traditionally campaigned around heart disease as the biggest single cause of death in the UK.
David Barker, head of communications, said: "Heart disease is still the UK's biggest killer but the number of people dying is going down. But there is a growing number of people living with heart failure."
"Heart failure" means the heart is less efficient, and is caused by damage to the heart muscle, usually by a heart attack. It affects more than 80,000 people in the UK.
The charity plans to recruit 19 nurses, who will visit people suffering from heart failure in their homes. It will also fund cardio rehabilitation schemes and diagnostic equipment. However, it will continue to fund medical research as its main concern.
An advertising and PR campaign for British Heart Week, 8-16 June, will reflect this new approach. Hard-hitting ads will appear in national and consumer press.