Nurse wins national award for work with familial hypercholesterolaemia

Lorraine Priestley-Barnham and Heart UK Medical Director, Dr Alan ReesA clinical nurse specialist at Harefield Hospital won an award this year for her work in helping raise awareness and detection of familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). 

Lorraine Priestley-Barnham won the Rianna Wingett Award, which recognises healthcare professionals who go beyond the call of duty to help treat FH.

FH is an inherited condition which leads to exceptionally high cholesterol levels, double or even four times higher than average. Only one in five people with FH know that they have the condition.

Nurses such as Lorraine are able to detect family cases of the condition based on data from patients who receive treatment at the Trust, helping to identify and treat more cases of the disease.

Lorraine is a clinical nurse specialist in hypercholesterolaemia and cascade screening, and has worked at the Trust since 2014. She was presented with the award at an annual ceremony hosted by Heart UK, a national charity that works to help prevent premature deaths caused by high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

The award was launched in memory of 11-year-old Rianna Wingett, who died suddenly in 2009 following a cross country run at school, and was found to have been suffering from undiagnosed FH.

Simon Williams from Heart UK said that Lorraine was “a clear winner” of the award. He said: “She has been a great help to our charity, both personally and professionally.

“Her role in helping us to write publications for children with FH, giving us advice on the condition and helping us learn how to talk to children with FH was incredibly valuable to our services. We now have a children's and young people’s programme, and three booklets full of information for them. She is always there when we need a helping hand.”

Lorraine said: “I was both honoured and humbled to receive the award. My focus is always passionately geared toward looking after the best interests of children.

“By raising awareness to help increase early detection, it’s my hope that children with FH will be appropriately managed and should not die from inheriting the FH gene.”

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