Celebrating the BHF Alliance's heart heroes

23 December 2014        

A female nurse sits at bedside with woman as they look at information together. Jenny Hargrave, Head of Healthcare and Innovation at the British Heart Foundation talks about the BHF Alliance awards, recognising the exceptional individuals and teams that go above and beyond to change the lives of people across the UK for the better.

Often when we’re talking about cardiovascular disease (CVD), it can be about numbers: the 7 million people in the UK who currently live with CVD, the 175,000 people who have a heart attack each year and the 235,000 who are admitted to hospital after a stroke. 

Yet we know that behind these numbers, there are people working, often without rest or recognition, to make life better for those affected by, or at increased risk of, CVD.   

Brave, informed, compassionate and driven

Our membership organisation, the BHF Alliance is made up of dedicated individuals working across different areas of health, social care and voluntary sector. It provides the perfect forum for healthcare practitioners to network, and develop their skills and knowledge, through events, and continued learning and professional support.

The BHF Alliance awards are our annual opportunity to celebrate high-quality services and care. We’re looking for those stars who champion the BHF’s values and support our mission to win the fight against CVD.  

Our Alliance members are inspirational leaders, rising stars and committed healthcare professionals who are driven to deliver the best care and support they can to patients and their families.

People like last year’s winner of our BHF Champion award Mandi Smith, a specialist heart failure nurse at NHS Highland. In addition to setting up her own heart failure service over the last 10 years that provides support for patients in rural Scotland, Mandi has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the BHF’s work through countless fundraising events and lobbying MSPs at Holyrood House to recognise the devastating impact of heart failure on families.  

On winning her award in 2014, Mandi said: "The award recognises going above and beyond but I just see this as me supporting the patients and public in what BHF stands for and I will strive to keep up the good work. 

“The benefits of being part of the Alliance are really great. The networking, the opportunity to contact  someone who does the same role as you or someone who does something that you fancy trying; often we can be very spread out which can make it hard to learn from other people’s experiences. This brings us much closer together."

The benefits of being part of the Alliance are really great. The networking, the opportunity to contact someone who does the same role as you or someone that does something that you fancy trying

Mandi Smith
Heart Failure Nurse 

Our awards have helped us to highlight the achievements of people who inspire others to change the way they approach difficult issues, such as end-of-life care. People like Yvonne Millerick, who won this year’s Outstanding Contribution award for her work on the palliative care programme Caring Together in Glasgow which has shown how vital it is that people are involved in how and where they are being cared for. 

Yvonne, who’s been working in the heart failure field for over 14 years said: “I count myself very lucky to be doing something I really enjoy and to have the opportunity to work in partnership with so many different people, but specifically patients and families that I come into contact with every single day.

For me, the benefit of the Alliance includes being able to share best practice with a wider group of multidisciplinary professionals and the opportunity to highlight where practices need to be improved and get a variety of perspectives.”  

2015 Nominations 

The nominations are now open for all five prestigious award categories and the closing date for entries is Monday 9 February 2015. For each category the winner and highly commended awards will be chosen by a panel of expert judges and presented at the BHF/BCS Conference Awards Dinner, on Tuesday 9 June 2015. 

  • Nominate an inspirational healthcare professional for the BHF Alliance awards 
  • Find out more about the BHF Alliance