BHRS Council Elections 2023

Many thanks to everyone for their interest in joining the BHRS Council.  Voting is now open in all categories.  Please complete the voting form (which can be found below the candidate information on this page) and choose your preferred candidate (s) for each discipline on BHRS Council.  You can vote in as little, or as many, of the categories as you wish.  The candidate with the most votes in each area will be formally elected and be welcomed at the BHRS AGM later this year.  Deadline for votes is 14th September 2023.

Nurse Candidates

Catherine Laventure

As an experienced BHRS accredited arrhythmia nurse within a non-tertiary centre, I have highlighted the varied needs and challenges which are experienced by arrhythmia nurses nationally. Through my work as a council member and through networking at conferences and meetings, it is clear that arrhythmia nurse roles vary significantly, and many arrhythmia nurses are working in isolation.

This can result in arrhythmia nurses feeling overwhelmed in terms of their own personal development and also lacking in guidance in terms of opportunities for potential service developments. The current climate within the NHS is requiring many arrhythmia nurses to work at an advanced level as autonomous practitioners, and the recent addition of a competency framework for arrhythmia nurses will support role development. As part of my role we are developing a regional arrhythmia nurse network to ensure that we can communicate more effectively with arrhythmia nurses about learning opportunities, and sharing of ideas, this will also aim to raise the profile and benefits of BHRS membership.

Within the BHRS accreditation committee, we are developing the current nurse accreditation process to include the option for specific education webinars in order to support nurses in achieving this.

Jessica Burrell

In 2019 I completed a masters level PGCert in Cardiac Care and was awarded the BCU Cardiac Nurse of the Year Award for my distinguished work. I went on to specialise and lead the QEHB arrhythmia nurse specialist service in 2021, one of the UK’s leading complex ablation centres, and I am currently completing a Non-Medical Prescribing Course.

I am passionate about nurse education. I have spoken at a national level to advance nurse education in the field of EP and I am currently involved in developing one of the first student clinical nurse specialist placement programmes in the UK. I also have a keen interest in service development, having spearheaded a nurse-led AF ILR clinic, Amiodarone and Dronedarone clinic and Kardia mobile service.

As a member of the BHRS council, I aim to represent and support those entering the exciting yet daunting world of electrophysiology. I specifically want to support the BHRS in developing resources that explore more pharmacological management strategies of cardiac arrhythmia and risk factor modification.

Doctor Candidates

Claire Martin

I am actively involved in EHRA Women in EP and will look to increase the number of female EPs in the UK through improving mentorship for trainees and working to break down barriers to career development.

As an existing member of the BHRS Multi-Centre Trials Group, I help promote and set up UK wide projects, such as the CRAAFT-AF study. RCTs in particular need collaboration across multiple sites for recruitment, and I have a strong track record in coordinating and organising this. I am passionate about increasing access to research across all career pathways in EP, including physiologists and nurses.

EP is a rapidly moving field; I have worked with NICE on new ablation technologies and am keen to represent BHRS in shaping guidelines for their use going forward. Particularly in light of recent NHS England guidelines, procedures such as persistent AF ablation require a unified approach especially in patient selection and PROMS data collection, and I will work with BHRS Council members to form protocols for this.

I am very excited about the upcoming plans for simulation based training days and the first multi-day symposium. I am very keen to be part of the organisation and running of these events and promote them among fellows and AHPs, to allow the educational potential of BHRS to benefit all members.

Honey Thomas

I collaborate regionally as part of our strategic clinical network and chair the CRM subgroup. I have worked closely with BHRS to develop national guidelines, deliver education sessions and support the development of the BHRS accreditation process. I would like to contribute further by joining the council. I have experience working in multidisciplinary committees and with colleagues from primary/secondary and tertiary care. I would be a hardworking, reliable and dedicated member.

I believe that BHRS has many important roles; it can represent and lobby for our specialty at a national level and drive quality and support delivery of services across the UK. I think provision of professional educational sessions is an important component of the future BHRS. I also support further development of a robust process to allow professional accreditation for all clinical groups; promoting learning and excellence in our colleagues. As demonstrated by my previous projects, I particularly value opportunities for BHRS to develop guidance documents. This is a powerful way to encourage clinical improvements and support our colleagues in delivering these. It avoids each site spending valuable time and effort on local guidance and takes advantage of our national expertise.

Mark Tanner

I have established a complex device service, including conduction system pacing (CSP), improved arrhythmia pathways and forged a link with Imperial College, where I am an honorary clinical senior lecturer. I have experience using digital technology to streamline arrhythmia pathways and have served as a NICE expert advisor for ECG-patch technologies (KardiaMobile and Zio-XT). I have developed skills in CSP and am currently Principal Investigator for the PROTECT-HF trial. I was professional expert for NICE guidance on His-Bundle pacing (2021) and recently appointed to the NICE Technology Advisory Committee.

The increasing demand for specialist services coupled with growing financial/staffing constraints means the arrhythmia community will face challenges to deliver effective care. The BHRS plays a critical role in overcoming these challenges through its support and leadership of the UK’s arrhythmia community. If elected I would expand the BHRS’ support for centres to showcase their innovative practice, and improve national delivery of quality care by sharing such practice throughout the BHRS network. The importance of the UK arrhythmia community to unite, support and inspire, has never been greater and I share BHRS’ vision to enhance the delivery of arrhythmia care throughout the UK.

Nicholas Gall

These symptoms are frequent reasons to see the GP, call an ambulance or attend A&E. Studies in the UK and elsewhere highlight that management of these patients is often inefficient, over-cautious and often provides no clear diagnosis. It is often for the arrhythmia service to resolve the issues. The UK has played a major role in developing innovative solutions including successful rapid access blackout clinics run by a multi-disciplinary nursing team and in particular with arrhythmia nursing.

I believe BHRS can lead on further improvement in this area, improving diagnosis, identifying high-risk patients and efficiently improving patient care. Multi-disciplinary and multi-speciality clinics are clearly important with medical, nursing and physiological colleagues working seamlessly together. The diverse membership of the BHRS lends itself well to this sort of development.

The BHRS already plays an enormous role in education on arrhythmia topics and can also lead on education in syncope.

Running one of the busiest complex syncope clinics has helped me understand the challenges and the potential solutions and I would like, through the BHRS, to facilitate this through guidelines, service change and further enhancing educational opportunities.

Vivienne Ezzat

and feel very lucky to be able to draw on a wealth of varied experience from different parts of the country and within the specialty. I count many physiologists and nurses, as well as doctors, as good friends, and this gives much better perspectives at work than just looking at the world through my own eyes.

During my first term on council, I brought the national working organisation for congenital EP (BiCCEP) that I set up, to join as an affiliated group, and also revised the BHRS ACHD EP guidelines. I also co-wrote the NHSE national PIFU guidelines for arrhythmia. I actively participated in the wider arrhythmia discussions at council meetings and have put myself forward to act as secretary for the next term if I am elected.

My aspirations for BHRS are to make it more appealing to all-comers and better understand what people want from BHRS. I know that we do a lot of good work but we are definitely not as in touch as we could be, with all the awesome people who work in this field. I want to make BHRS the place that every physiologist, nurse, junior doctor and consultant feels has something really useful and positive to offer them, and I believe I am a good person to help do this.

Waqas Ullah

EP is an expensive specialty which necessitates high short-term resource in a difficult economic climate. There is increasing demand for beds from overstretched emergency departments and general cardiology, competing with beds for elective patients. I am working in a tertiary centre with a very busy emergency department on site and am witnessing first hand, as are all my colleagues, the pressures we are coming under to compromise the level of EP service our patients deserve. UK EP has traditionally been a source of innovation and excellence but we are in real danger of being left behind by our colleagues abroad, with overstretched, underfunded, underprioritised services.

Our patients deserve better and as part of BHRS council I would want to take the opportunity to help face these challenges, to lobby for our patients, to stress the importance of our interventions, to help continuing innovation and excellence in UK EP. BHRS needs to be at the heart of all this, to drive this forward, and I would love to have the opportunity to be a part of this.

Physiologist Candidates

Adam Marzetti

Over my career, I have several assisted CRM trainees go through the accreditation process for cardiac device with BHRS and yet still feel there is a significant gap in the workforce for physiologists and cardiac scientists who wish to develop these services. Having also been involved in the provision of the scientist training programme, both internally and at the final IACC assessments, I have shown a dedication to the field in terms of education and development of the future workforce.

Should I be elected, I will work with all colleagues associated with BHRS and healthcare science to meet educational needs of trainees who wish to develop themselves in the field of CRM. This could be with alignment with the national school of healthcare science to promote CRM from the early stages of the training programmes and to inspire prospective trainees to work within the field of CRM. Additionally, I would work alongside colleagues to provide a platform that allows us share resources that can assist in the development of successful services, for example a non-physician led implantable loop recorder services.

Amy Wharmby

I am incredibly passionate about both areas of cardiology and would hope my knowledge could help shape discussion, policies, and initiatives to promote diagnosis and the treatment of heart rhythm disorders. A key aspect of being part of the BHRS council would allow me to actively contribute to research and education which are instrumental in furthering the understanding and management of patients. I can offer my prior experience with attendance and delivery of talks at national and international conferences which have been driven by ensuring patient care aligns with current guidance as well as discussing more advanced patient pathways.

Serving on the council will be beneficial for meeting with fellow experts, researchers, and practitioners in the field from a prospect of collaboration and idea-sharing which can be distributed to the cardiology workforce. Overall, I would hope my willingness to contribute expertise, experience, and passion to the BHRS council would have a meaningful impact on advancing the field, promoting Cardiac Physiology and improving patient care.

Janet Kipping

Initially, I gained experience working in District General Hospitals before spending time in industry working for a cardiac device company. I am now a device specialist and CRM educator at a large tertiary centre and enjoy the responsibility of developing early career colleagues who have chosen to specialise in devices.

I believe that the BHRS can and should be playing a pivotal role in raising the profile of our profession. To attract the next generation of healthcare scientists, it is essential that this is made a focus of the BHRS to ensure that potential trainees can learn of the important role we play in the patient journey. If elected, this is an area I would be keen to explore and develop.

As I mentioned previously, delivering education and supporting professional development are passions of mine and I am keen to see the BHRS continue to develop these areas.

Sophie Robinson

… through undertaking research, developing policies and providing education for others.

I look forward to the opportunity to help support the growth and valued recognition of the BHRS, even more so during a very important and exciting year for them. Additionally, I am very passionate about raising the profile of Cardiac Physiologists, and I hope through being part of the council I can help support this further and be part of the evolution of further scientist-led services by helping develop future policies and guidelines. With the demands that most CRM departments are facing, I feel it’s important for societies, such as BHRS, to find ways in which they can support departments. This could be achieved through further development of generic operational policies and educational posters for departments to use. Furthermore, there is a wealth of knowledge, guidelines and documents within all Cardiology departments,

BHRS plays a huge role in the CRM world, and I hope to support it in developing ways for departments to connect, network and share ideas. My vision and aspiration for the BHRS would be for it to introduce a department accreditation, to recognise CRM departments that deliver quality care and training.

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