Professor Ben Freedman, Heart Research Institute, University of Sydney
Over the past six years, Professor Ben Freedman has developed a major interest in screening for Atrial Fibrillation. Pioneering studies using a smartphone ECG, Professor Freedman was the first to use the Smartphone ECG device and prompted the inventors to develop software especially designed to detect AF in the community.
Professor Freedman has founded the AF-SCREEN International Collaboration. The group is only one year old but already has over 100 members from 31 countries. The collaboration seeks to promote discussion and research about screening for unknown or under-treated AF as a strategy to reduce stroke and death.
Cardiac Rhythm Management Team, Oxford University Hospital
The Cardiac Rhythm Management Team at Oxford University Hospital is made up of doctors, specialist & advanced nurse practitioners and cardiac physiologists. But it is the role of the Advanced Nurse Practitioner that what makes this team unique. They are the only nurses in the UK who are also able to undertake advanced cardiac physiologist roles. The CRM Cardiac Physiologists, in conjunction with the Cardiac Angiography Suite nurses, have been trained to undertake solo insertion of implantable loop recorders. This has allowed these common procedures to be removed from the EP and Device Labs, creating extra capacity and improving patient flow. There could not be a better example of multidisciplinary teamwork with an exchange of skills, respect for each other’s knowledge and a willingness to support innovation and the breaking down of traditional boundaries. We hope that the recognition that would come with winning this award will inspire other centres to take inspiration from the success of this team approach.
Gaynor Richards has worked tirelessly to improve the service offered to arrhythmia patients. Gaynor supports ICD patients in a clinical setting and also oversees her own ICD support group which she does in her own time. This vital group is not just educational for patients but also tackles the social exclusion that is felt by a patient with this type of condition. Gaynor has also raised funds for the placement of an AED in her community as well as organising several AF study days to improve the diagnosis and treatment for all those living with AF. Gaynor’s AF study days have helped raise awareness to other medical professionals in the South West region as well as bring them up to speed on new treatments. Gaynor has been published in the AF Associations patient resources about what makes a good support group as well as presenting at this year’s Arrhythmia Alliance patients day.