We had a fantastic set of nominations this year from a very high calibre of cardiac physiologists and scientists with over double the nominations from 2022. Congratulations to everyone who was nominated, you have truly made a positive difference to the places that you work in. A panel of five council members who had declared no conflict of interest scored the top three nominations of each category and had a very tough job of deciding between all the amazing candidates! The winners and runners up of each award are listed below.

Dave Richley Award

This award is presented to a staff member, colleague or team who have proactively pushed education forward in their trust or the wider network.  This person is recognised for raising standards and the profile of the cardiac workforce on the whole.

Winner: Eileen Wass
Cardiac Physiologist
Cardiorespiratory Department, The Mid Yorkshire Teaching Trust

Eileen had four separate nominations. Eileen has created an amazing supportive learning environment not only supporting an increasing number of PTP students from Leeds university all of which leave positive feedback. She also supports a STP student and an associate apprentice. Eileen provides the new ATOs with a training course to accelerate their learning to being able to perform and eventually interpret ECGs independently. Most of this is done out of hours at the side of her day job in devices. Eileen’s work ethic and attention to detail makes her the perfect role model to all physiologists. Her enthusiasm comes across and ignites the desire to learn in those who attend. Eileen’s nominators felt she deserves recognition for all of her hard work so that she knows that she is a valued person to everyone she works with and all of the patients she provides care for.

Runner Up: Catherine Townsend
ETP Practice Educator (Southeast Region)
Cardiac Department, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Catherine is nominated for her exceptional contributions as the Echo Training Programme Practice Educator in the Southeast of England. Catherine’s unwavering dedication, innovative teaching methods, and profound impact on both students and the wider echo community make her an exemplar of excellence in education. Catherine’s impact can be seen in the remarkable achievements of her students. Her ability to inspire and empower her students to reach new heights is a testament to her exceptional teaching philosophy and unwavering commitment to their growth.

Catherine Townsend’s remarkable work as the Echo Training Programme Practice Educator in the Southeast of England embodies the essence of the Outstanding Education Award. Her innovative teaching methods, dedication to student success, and profound impact on the workforce are truly exemplary. Catherine’s legacy as a transformative educator will undoubtedly continue to inspire and shape the lives of countless individuals for years to come. She is not only a role model for her students but also a beacon of excellence in the field of echocardiography.

Unsung Hero Award

This award is given to a staff member or colleague who has made a real difference to their team, department or patients.  A colleague who is a proactive team member and completes their role to the betterment of their department without requesting acknowledgement or dispensation for what they do on a daily basis.

Winner: Sam Walsh
Trainee Clinical Scientist
Cardio-respiratory, Bradford teaching hospitals

Sam has been nominated for the unsung hero award because he is always going above and beyond, not only to provide excellent patient care, but also to provide support to his colleagues. Sam is the person who doesn’t complain when a patient walks in for an ECG right at the end of the day and will be the first to volunteer to come off his lunch early if a patient is waiting. He never has to be asked to do anything because by the time something needs doing, he’s already done it. Every day Sam puts patients and colleagues before himself without a second thought. Sam should be recognised for what appears to only be natural to him. He is an asset to the department and the cardiac science profession.

Runner up: Barts Health Cardiographers Team
Non-Invasive Cardiac Diagnostics, Barts Health NHS Trust

The pool of dedicated cardiographers have worked tirelessly to keep ambulatory monitor service going throughout the pandemic and beyond. This included moving high-volume inhouse service into a remote format (e.g. registering patients, tracking patients, calling and texting patients). They had the agility to quickly adapt to the transformation of the service as well as ensuring that the service continued and patients received the best treatment. The team also play an active part in the introduction of further technology pathways for other disciplines like stroke and blood pressure (stroke, BP). Cardiographers rarely get noticed and can often feel invisible and undervalued. But, they are the life and core of services supporting a multidisciplinary team across all services.

Innovation Award for Transformation

This award is given to a staff member or colleague who has proactively created transformational change in a service or department.  This change has led to either financial savings, time savings or resulted in a better diagnostic provision allowing better patient flow

Winner: Camelia Demetrescu
Consultant Clinical Scientist
Echo department, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust

Camelia’s work in establishing a physiologist-led stress echocardiography programme at Guy’s and St Thomas Hospital has significantly transformed patient care. Patients requiring valve stress echocardiography were often mixed with other stress echo patients on the waiting list, resulting in delays and prolonged waiting times. Camelia established a dedicated valve stress clinic parallel to the valve consultant clinic at GSTT.

With the programme operational for three months this has translated into reduced waiting times, accelerated diagnoses, and timely treatment interventions for this specific patient demographic. Camelia set up the protocol reporting template, initiated a comprehensive training process, and patient leaflets.

Runner Up: Tiago Silva
Quality lead for Echocardiography
Diagnostics, Xyla Elective Care

As the quality lead for echo, Tiago is responsible for ensuring clinical staff are meeting the BSE standards for minimum dataset, as well as ensuring reports are well written, correct and accurate. Over the past year he has made some important changes to the way we perform this function and this has made the process even more resilient and fully aligned to the BSE Quality Framework. Tiago has fully re-written the system, ensuring it mirrors the BSE minimum dataset and is weighted so that errors in reporting are more heavily penalised than image optimisation issues.

Tiago has also implemented a feedback system so all echo staff can receive a report detailing what they are doing well and areas for improvement which they can use to support their own continuous professional development and best practice.

Patient Care Award of Excellence

This is awarded to a staff member or colleague who proactively offers exceptional patient care on a daily basis.  Going above and beyond in a pursuit that offers excellent patient care.

Winner: Keli Konrad
Regional Lead Echocardiographer
Diagnostics – Echocardiography, Xyla Elective Care, Acacium Group

Keli joined XEC in 2021 and is  regional lead on the South coast with a particular focus on community clinics. Keli regularly receives fantastic feedback from the patients she scans, including letters sent to the hospital directors as well as handwritten cards. There’s a common theme in the feedback, reflecting her professional but caring approach with all the patients that come to her for their Echocardiograms. Keli guarantees every patient has the best experience she can give them, regardless of what else she may be dealing with that day.

Runner Up: Jenna Smith
Clinical Scientist in Cardiology
Echocardiography department, Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital NHS Trust

Jenna Smith is an excellent professional who puts patient care above all else. As a result of this, she set up a new acute care echocardiography service at GSTT to provide 24-48h BSE level 1 echocardiogram service to emergency, resuscitation and admission wards. In addition, she will also provide training for non-echocardiographers acute care medical staff within this service thereby upskilling the wider workforce and allowing for the echo department to focus on more complex BSE level 2 scans. Jenna is a true asset to the service.

Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award is given to a staff member or colleague who has recently qualified or is undertaking an Apprenticeship, ETP, PTP or STP qualification and shows great insight and innovation in the role.  The actions of this colleague will likely offer better diagnostic service within the workforce and/or their approach to their job will allow for better patient care.

Winner: Molly Coughlan
Cardiac Physiologist
Cardiac Department, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Molly’s remarkable journey has recently graduated from the healthcare science cardiac apprenticeship program at the University of the West of England (UWE). During her time at UWE, Molly demonstrated a remarkable ability to excel academically while balancing the practical demands of her apprenticeship. Her consistent academic achievements are a testament to her diligence, time management skills, and genuine enthusiasm for the subject matter.

Molly’s strong theoretical foundation, paired with her hands-on experience in cardiac science, has equipped her with a well-rounded understanding of the subject. What truly sets Molly apart, however, is her compassionate and patient-centred approach to healthcare. Her interactions with patients, colleagues, and mentors have consistently been characterized by empathy and a genuine desire to make a positive impact. In addition to her academic and clinical accomplishments, Molly’s resilience and adaptability are truly noteworthy.

Runner Up: Charlotte Hardiman
Cardiac Physiologist
Cardiac Physiology, Cambridge University Hospitals

Charlotte is a recently qualified cardiac physiologist via the apprentice route who has shown a huge amount of development since qualifying. She takes a leading role in the ambulatory ECG monitoring service and has made significant improvements to the way the service is run. In particular, she has been managing a trial of 200 patch monitors for stroke patients, and is responsible for fitting, analysis and feedback for these, including evaluating the impact of the trial on the service and outcomes for patients. Charlotte’s commitment to improving and developing the service from such an early point of her career definitely makes her a rising star.