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BHF Alliance Awards 2018

The BHF Alliance awards celebrate excellence in caring for people affected by heart and circulatory diseases. 

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Alliance Award winners 2018

We are delighted to announce the winners of the BHF Alliance Awards 2018.

Winners were presented with a trophy and certificate at a ceremony on Tuesday 5 June 2018 at the British Cardiovascular Society Annual Conference 2018 in Manchester.


BHF Champion

Winner: Arlene Cobban, Heart Disease Managed Clinical Network Manager, NHS Fife

Arlene has helped make significant clinical improvements that have had an enormous impact on the way people with cardiovascular disease (CVD) are cared for across Fife. In her role at the Managed Clinical Network, she brings together health professionals and organisations from local GPs to specialist cardiologists, and works with patients and carers to ensure they are able to participate and contribute.

Arlene also supports patient support groups and promotes the BHF’s Nation of Lifesavers programme, as well as raising awareness of heart conditions.

Highly commended: Kevin McGibbon, Arrhythmia Nurse Specialist, The University Hospitals of the North Midlands

Kevin drives forward atrial fibrillation (AF) awareness and promotes best practice with clinicians, developing posters on detecting AF and ensuring irregular pulses are correctly recorded on IT systems. He also implemented a pulse-checking system at the hospital entrance using an old iPad so patients could easily be checked for AF.


Rising Star

Winner: Nerys Ubsdell, Arrhythmia Nurse, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board, Swansea

Nerys works with GPs and various community cardiac services to identify patients who would benefit from primary prevention and complex cardiac devices such as implantable cardioverter defibrillators and pacemakers.

She has established screening clinics for patients to attend either in their GP surgery or the cardiac centre out-patients department, and provides essential information and support to her patients.

Highly commended:
Nigel Bond, Cardiology Specialist Nurse – Chest Pain, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, North Wales

Nigel has led the development of community-based cardiac services that have successfully reduced waiting times, and is committed to providing holistic care that puts the patient and their family first.

Shortlisted: Haotian Gu, Research Fellow / Clinical Scientist, King's College London & St Thomas' Hospital

Integrated Care

Winner: The Integration of Peterborough Cardiac Rehabilitation and Psychological Wellbeing Services, North West Anglia NHSFT and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHSFT

These services were recognised for their work to improve care for people recovering from a heart attack or heart surgery. They redesigned their service to incorporate psychological support from colleagues providing a psychological wellbeing service.

Both services worked together to fast-track patients onto appropriate psychological interventions, helping to improve patients’ recovery and reduce hospital readmissions.

Highly commended: Electrophysiology Team, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board

This multi-disciplinary team redesigned their AF ablation clinics, which were in extremely high demand, to include group education sessions. As well as reducing clinician workload, the sessions also allowed patients to meet and network with other people with AF.

Shortlisted: South East Hants and Fareham and Gosport Community Heart Failure Service, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Leadership & Engagement

Winner: Lisa Gritzmacher, Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) Clinical Nurse Specialist, University Hospital Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

Lisa has shaped FH testing services across the South West of England, and streamlined processes that allow clinicians to receive results from genetics labs much more quickly. She has also campaigned nationally about the need for FH services, speaking to MPs at an All-Party Parliamentary Group meeting last year. Her peers say that her engaging leadership style has inspired others to specialise in cardiac care.

Highly commended: Helen Williams, Consultant Pharmacist in CVD, AHSN Network & Health Innovation Network South London   

Helen has spearheaded several innovative models of care in London, such as a virtual clinic model in which specialist cardiovascular pharmacists from secondary care visit GP practices to discuss the patients on the AF register and provide support in prescribing appropriate treatments.

Shortlisted: Frances Divers, Nurse Consultant, NHS Lothian / Scottish Government CR Clinical Champion

Shortlisted: Julie Holroyd, Consultant Cardiology Nurse, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust

Team of the Year


Winner: Crail Medical Practice, Parkhead, Glasgow

Team of the Year, Crail Medical Practice, pictured with BHF Chief Exec Simon Gillespie

The team of three GPs, a practice nurse, a healthcare assistant, pharmacist, and administrative staff at Crail Medical Practice have shown dedicated to overcoming challenges in a deprived area with higher-than-average levels of heart and circulatory disease.

The team have developed a more patient-centred approach to the management of long-term conditions, such as a pharmacist-led blood pressure clinic, and a weekly walking group for patients to boost physical activity levels.

Highly commended: Yorkshire and Humber Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Service Specialist Nurse Team, York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

As well as delivering a very successful FH cascade testing service, the team has delivered a package of education for health care practitioners across primary and secondary care to increase awareness of the condition and ensure best practice guidelines are followed.

Shortlisted: Carmarthenshire Heart Failure Team, Hywel Dda University Health Board

Shortlisted: Nurse-led Cardiac Assessment Unit, Western Trust


The BHF Alliance awards are judged in two separate stages by a panel of cardiology and healthcare experts who rate nominations on several categories, including how teams and individuals have gone above and beyond the basic requirements of their role.


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