British Heart Rhythm Society, the Arrhythmia Alliance and Heart Rhythm Congress – an Explainer
British Heart Rhythm Society
The British Heart Rhythm Society (BHRS) is an organisation of health care professionals engaged in the diagnosis, management and research of heart rhythm disorders. The Society is the current iteration of the main group representing those health care professionals involved in cardiac rhythm management and is affiliated to the British Cardiovascular Society.
Historically the British Pacing and Electrophysiology Group (BPEG) was the organisation representing CRM professionals and was responsible for amongst other things the National Pacemaker Database and the NASPE/BPEG generic pacemaker code.
Heart Rhythm UK was formed in 2005 by the amalgamation of the British Pacing and Electrophysiology Group (BPEG), the British Association of Arrhythmia Nurses (BANA) and the UK Interventional Electrophysiology Society (UKICES) – the latter being a short lived group focussing on EP. Its mission was to act as a unifying focus for professionals involved in arrhythmia care and electrical therapies in the UK.
In 2013 the name of HRUK was changed to BHRS principally to avoid confusion with another organisation with the initials HRUK. BHRS continues to represent all health care professionals and has a growing membership.
The main objective of BHRS is to improve the health of patients with heart rhythm disorders through advancement of knowledge, education and practice in the field of cardiac rhythm management. This objective shall be pursued by education provided at scientific meetings, by communication and discussion, lectures, education, training and other means. The fullest co-operation of other national and international cardiac rhythm management device and arrhythmia groups will be sought where practicable.
The Arrhythmia Alliance (A-A)
A-A is a coalition of charities, patient groups, patients, carers, medical groups and allied professionals. Although these groups remain independent, they work together under the A-A umbrella to promote timely and effective diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias.
The A-A has been an invited member of BHRS Council since inception in 2004. The BHRS currently has no ex-officio representation on any A-A committee. The A-A provided BHRS with its administrative support for a number of years but in 2019 BHRS moved its administrative support to an independent organisation after a tendering process. This was done for a number of reasons but principally to maintain separate identities and have a clear separation of governance processes.
Heart Rhythm Congress (HRC)
HRC is an annual conference with its initial meeting in 2006 at the Birmingham Motor Museum with subsequent iterations at the Birmingham Airport Hilton before its move to the Birmingham International Conference Centre (ICC). The last 2 meetings in 2020 and 2021 have been virtual as a consequence of the COVID -19 pandemic but the next meeting in 2022 is planned to be face to face.
“The first UK Heart Rhythm Congress will be held in Birmingham, on September 19-21 2006. The meeting is being organised by Heart Rhythm UK (formerly the British Pacing and Electrophysiology Group), Heart Rhythm UK Intervention (formerly the UK Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiological Society), Heart Rhythm UK Nurses (formerly the British Arrhythmia Nurses Association), The Arrhythmia Alliance, and others.”
Initially the meeting was clearly collaborative with co-billing between HRUK and A-A (example below) but over the years the role of BHRS in the organisation of this meeting has diminished whilst at the same time the A-A has increased its input. In 2021 we were invited to the Arrhythmia Alliance HRC meeting for the first time. BHRS members of all disciplines play a very significant role in the successful delivery of this meeting in terms of preparation and delivery of lectures – indeed it is hard to see how the meeting would succeed without BHRS member input. Furthermore the BHRS has had no input into the appointment of the most recent Programme Chair and has unequal representation on the Programme Committee.
For a number of reasons BHRS wish to disengage from HRC and so 2022 will be the last time any official BHRS activity will take place at HRC. Moving forward we are planning our own educational programme designed by BHRS members for BHRS members. I hope BHRS members will support these new exciting developments.
BHRS Symposium, BHRS Education Committee
The BHRS education committee is pleased to announce our plan for education events as we develop your society.
Next year we will be holding a symposium at the Royal College of Physicians, London on 28th March. This will be pitched at experienced professionals working in arrhythmia and device cardiology with state-of-the-art updates across the field.
Later in the year, we will be holding a practical training day, in collaboration with industry partners. The aim is to give professionals training in arrhythmias and devices the opportunity to experience a wide range of practical simulation and skills lab training. There will be the option to obtain DOPS tickets for portfolios.
We will also be supporting the continuation of the very successful EP tracing day previously run at the start of HRC.
From 2024 these elements will be brought together in a multi-day meeting in the autumn (venue TBC).
The education committee welcomes suggestions and feedback, please contact us with any comments via admin@BHRS.com
On behalf of BHRS Education Committee