BHF Alumna Dr Sarah Clarke is the BHF’s newest trustee, joining in October 2018. She is a consultant interventional cardiologist at Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge. From 2015-18 was President of the British Cardiovascular Society (BCS). Sarah hopes to strengthen the BHF’s relationship with the NHS, with our diverse communities. Also, to contribute to the expansion of BHF’s world-leading research programmes which translate into real benefit for patients.

Sarah Clarke smiling

BHF’s relationship with the NHS

The BHF provides outstanding advice and educational resources for patients, which compliment, that provided by clinicians and allied healthcare professionals. But with so much information available online it is easy for patients to feel overwhelmed.

So what could we do? Focussing on NHS patient pathways. Providing a portal of relevant up-to-date information as patients make their journey along a pathway would be invaluable to patients and staff.  

We also need a patient-held record where patients can take ownership of their medical history, medication, results and progress.  This then could be shared with medical professionals in clinics, in hospital and during rehabilitation. Linking it to the pathway information resource would make life a lot easier for our patients and healthcare professionals.  

Big Data

Data is vital for evaluating quality of NHS services and cost effectiveness through audit. But also to advance cardiovascular medicine through research.

Collating data along the patient pathway and linking with other relevant subspecialties would provide a unique and valuable resource. This is where our data science initiative can have real impact on healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. The BHF is also uniquely positioned to bring together clinicians, basic scientists, allied healthcare professionals and patients as a ‘think-tank’ for future research initiatives. 

Medical Conferences

Conferences allow time to get up to date with clinical cardiology and latest research. But they also allow time to network with colleagues across the globe in the same specialty.

The face-to-face exchange of ideas is still invaluable. Clinicians, researchers and industry need to interact to generate ideas, collaborate and extend the boundaries of cardiovascular care.

Conferences must, however, be made more accessible to those who cannot attend. The carbon footprint for conferences, the costs of running them, and the total delegate costs are high, especially since sponsorship has almost disappeared.

Live streaming of lectures, scheduled streamed or recorded highlights and the availability of presentations after the event are all becoming essential elements for a successful conference.

An artist's impression of the new Royal Papworth Hospital
Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge

Involving patients

As clinicians, it is vital we consider the patient perspective and their feedback. However, it is crucial to get the right patients involved where committees are concerned. They must represent the wider patient view but be able to develop, or have, an understanding of the basic terminology and concepts relevant to the cardiovascular area they are contributing to.  

The New Royal Papworth Hospital and Cardiovascular Research Institute

The move to the new hospital brings opportunities for Royal Papworth to build on its reputation as a leading cardiovascular centre in the UK and, with improved transport links, opens up a global market. The new hospital, in the largest biomedical campus in Europe, is a state-of-the-art facility designed around patient pathways.

A new Cardiovascular Research Institute is planned to be built alongside the hospital, supported in part by the BHF. This will facilitate local, national and international clinical research trials and basic science research. Contributing to the innovation of new devices and technologies of the future through collaboration with start-up companies, industry and research-funding bodies. We look forward to moving to our new home in April 2019.

Find out more

Dr Sarah Clarke on Twitter

Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge

British Cardiovascular Society (BCS)

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