Back this June for its third year, the BHF Alliance Awards honour those fighting for every heartbeat.
The awards were presented by our Medical Director, Professor Peter Weissberg, at a celebratory dinner, recognising the staff and organisations that have shown particular excellence in cardiovascular care over the past year.
Lois Taylor, Professional Development and Engagement Manager at the BHF said: "The passion, courage and determination shown by our award winners to fight for every heartbeat and deliver the best possible care for their patients is an absolute inspiration. Our Alliance award winners remind me why it is so important for the BHF Alliance to keep supporting the learning and development needs of our healthcare professionals across the UK. Together we will win the fight."
2016 BHF Alliance Award Winners
Rising Star Winner and Leadership & Engagement Highly Commended
Alex Gigg - Specialist Occupational Therapist, Cwm Taf University Health Board
When Alex joined the Prince Charles Hospital, Cardiac Rehabilitation Department in Merthyr Tydfil he faced the challenge of re-establishing occupational therapy services. Not only was he new to the specialty, he had a large geographical area to cover as a solo occupational therapist (OT). Two years later, he has developed an efficient and effective service providing support to individuals and groups as part of their cardiac rehabilitation, helping patients return to meaningful occupations and re-engage in activities that are important to them.
Alex is currently completing the final year of his Master’s degree in Advancing Healthcare Practice and within this is working on a service improvement project: Implementation of OT services for heart failure patients to improve outcomes and quality of life.
Robert Gingell - Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) Specialist Nurse, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board - Glan Clwyd Hospital
Robert was one of the first of three FH specialist nurses funded by the BHF in Wales. He is an expert in his field, leading developments in innovative methods of research and introducing and trailling services that maximise opportunities to identify those at high risk of developing FH.
As well as his clinical work, Robert is always willing and eager to support the BHF. He has given his time and advice to help BHF staff write clinical articles, launch fundraising campaigns and gain local knowledge of healthcare services in Wales. He even set up his own fundraising walks which he promoted locally in order to raise funds for the BHF.
Robert not only embraces the BHF values, he influences all around him to embrace them too, thoroughly championing the BHF's Fight for Every Heartbeat.
NHS Western Isles Cardiac Nurse Team, NHS Western Isles
This NHS Western Isles Team delivers their multidisciplinary cardiac care in a remote island chain with no cardiologist support. This requires an innovative approach and continual review to address areas of need and provide support to this widespread community.
Each nurse in the team developed skills to work across the range of services provided, ensuring that a holistic and integrated approach is available to every patient. They all have advanced clinical assessment skills, and are active non-medical prescribers.
The team’s initial focus was heart failure, but they now provide a truly integrated service by acting in the role of a specialist resource to both ambulance services and acute care. Already covering cardiac rehabilitation, FH testing, palliative care and psychological support, they’re currently working on developing a telehealth solution to support isolated communities.
Leadership & Engagement
Paul Stern - Lead Practitioner in Heart Failure and Cardiac Rehabilitation, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust
Paul’s role as lead practitioner for heart failure and cardiac rehabilitation has seen him meet challenges to develop and integrate services across two hospital sites. This has meant working in partnership to overcome the closure and movement of services to ensure that the best possible care is still accessible to those that need it.
He has led pioneering services, transforming cardiac rehabilitation across Staffordshire by creating a community based model; working with other organisations in the public, private and charity sectors he has used a solution-based approach to create sustainable services.
Paul strives to deliver first class cardiology services, valuing the hard work and support of colleagues and partners who work alongside him to achieve this.
Team of The Year
NHS Western Isles Cardiac Team, NHS Western Isles
NHS Western Isles cardiac nurse team, also winners of the 2016 Alliance Integrated Care award, works as part of a multidisciplinary team with a dietitian, physiotherapist and exercise instructors. They meet weekly to discuss individual patient progress against agreed targets and interventions are planned to incorporate the patient's preferred approach.
All new nurses who join the team undergo training to enable them to work across the range of services they provide. This ensures a holistic and integrated care approach is available to all patients.
Working in a remote part of the UK brings unique challenges. But the team constantly rise to the task in order to provide support to colleagues and patients across these isolated communities. They are always evaluating and reviewing their services, looking for future innovations.
2016 BHF Alliance Award Highly Commended
Yvonne Stewart - Angina Nurse Specialist, Northern Health & Social Care Trust
Providing the only angina service in Northern Ireland keeps Yvonne extremely motivated and constantly striving to improve services for her patients. She introduced group education sessions, offering advice to patients and carers, and support to those awaiting cardiac surgery. Topics cover pre- and post-surgery care, and explanations of tests, cardiac rehabilitation and respite care.
Yvonne has even integrated support and techniques for relaxation and mindfulness, and is joined by the clinical health psychology service to deliver the sessions.
These sessions have evaluated extremely well and it is hoped this initiative will be rolled out across Northern Ireland.
Team of the Year
Harefield Hospital Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Nursing Team, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
The team at Harefield hospital have been relentless in their efforts to increase identification and improve management of patients with FH. They have established further services at Hillingdon Hospital, Hayes GP Practice and Brompton Hospital; working in partnership with CCGs and other service leads to produce patient pathways, search criteria and identification workflows.
They’ve also been proactive in improving FH identification, striving to raise awareness of the screening services. Keen to improve the care of young people with FH, team members participated in a trust quality improvement project. This led to the establishment of a young person’s follow up clinic in 2015.
The success and efforts of the team have been widely recognised, with team members being invited to participate in many steering groups and expert workshops.