18 January 2023

Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the honour of hosting Aortic Dissection Awareness Day UK on Tuesday 19 September 2023 by the national patient charity Aortic Dissection Awareness UK and Ireland.

The annual awareness day was founded in 2016 by a small group of survivors from the UK, Sweden and Italy and has since grown into a major national conference. 

The day will focus on improving patient care in aortic dissection and will see more than 100 patients, relatives, healthcare professionals and policymakers gather at the newly opened Heart & Lung Research Institute next door to Royal Papworth, on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. 

Aortic dissection is a life-threatening condition involving a tear in the body’s biggest artery, the aorta, which carries blood from the heart to the brain, limbs and vital organs. It kills more people in the UK each year than road traffic accidents, according to Aortic Dissection Awareness UK and Ireland. 

Dr Agrwawl standing on a stage speaking.

Dr Bobby Agrawal is a consultant radiologist at Royal Papworth Hospital

Royal Papworth Hospital has been awarded the hosting of the event in recognition of its expertise in the field of aortic dissection and for the outstanding care provided to patients.

Dr Bobby Agrawal, Consultant Cardiac and Thoracic Radiologist at Royal Papworth Hospital, said: “We are delighted that Aortic Dissection Awareness UK & Ireland have recognised our excellence in aortic surgery to the profession and to our patients, as well as our role in sharing our knowledge across the healthcare sector. We look forward to welcoming them and all the delegates to Royal Papworth in September.”

Dr Stephen Webb, Deputy Medical Director at Royal Papworth Hospital, added: “We are very proud to be hosting the Aortic Dissection Awareness Day UK at Royal Papworth in September, which recognises the outstanding care we provide to our patients and our considerable experience in treating this emergency medical condition.

“We are the UK’s leading heart and lung hospital and the first hospital trust in the country to receive the top rating of ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission, as well as being the first NHS acute Trust to have gained an ‘outstanding’ rating in the ‘safe’ category. An increasing number of patients are now surviving after aortic dissection, demonstrating our expertise in this field by quickly recognising the symptoms and providing effective surgical treatment.

“It is important that we continue to provide an exceptional level of care for our patients from the moment they are admitted through to supporting them for the rest of their lives.”

A group of people standing inside a room.

The annual awareness day was founded in 2016 by a small group of survivors

Mr. Gareth Owens, Chair of the national patient charity, said: “Royal Papworth is an excellent specialist aortic surgery centre, in addition to its renowned track record in heart transplantation; our aortic patients tell us that they receive exceptional care there. 

“The Royal Papworth aortic team are also raising awareness of aortic disease and actively sharing their expertise both regionally and nationally through education events. We have awarded Royal Papworth the hosting of Aortic Dissection Awareness Day UK 2023 in recognition of their care quality and leadership in this field."