How long have you worked at Royal Papworth Hospital?
I first arrived at Royal Papworth in 2005 as a Cardiothoracic Registrar and spent 18 months on the Surgical and Transplant Services. The transplant job sparked my interest in cardiology so I applied for further training within the Eastern Region. Following a Fellowship in St Thomas’ Hospital, London, I started my Consultant career at Royal Papworth, ten years to the day since my first visit. Once you’ve experienced the unique qualities of Royal Papworth first hand it does tend to draw you back!
What made you choose a career in cardiology?
I’ve always enjoyed the technical aspects of a procedural-based specialty and the rapidly evolving field of cardiology has a myriad of opportunities for innovation. Take Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantations (TAVI), for example. Even ten years ago if someone had told me we could place a new valve in an awake patient whilst talking them through the procedure and send them home the next day I would not have believed them. The next few years hold great promise for even more remarkable progress.
What do you find most rewarding about your role?
I think one of the most rewarding aspects of the role is being part of a team that has the patient at the centre of everything they do. At 3am on a Monday morning when the paramedics arrive with a patient in the throes of a heart attack, the skills of the team usually mean that, within the hour, the patient will be sat up recovering.
I’ve often wondered how many members of the Royal Papworth staff are involved and influence the outcome of each patient. The cath lab staff hand over the patient to the critical care nursing team and soon to the ward staff. The pharmacists, physios and OTs, ward clerks, secretaries, cardiac rehab team, cleaners, junior doctors, IT team and management exec all strive to ensure that the patient has the best possible experience.
What are you most looking forward to about the new hospital?
Our current site has served us very well for the last one hundred years but we really have now outgrown it. The once-in-a-career opportunity to move to a state-of-the-art hospital with all the latest equipment and purpose-built facilities is very exciting. However, like any house move there will be challenges ahead, and any new house only becomes a home once the family move in. We need to keep the Royal Papworth magic – and that comes from the staff alone. We’ve managed pretty well within the current constraints so imagine what we can do with world-leading facilities.
How would you describe your team in three words?
Skillful, compassionate and inspirational.