Many of our specialists hold important positions in professional organisations and win national and international recognition for their work. During 2018/19 examples include:
Professor Anita Simonds,
consultant in respiratory and sleep medicine at Royal Brompton Hospital and professor of respiratory and sleep medicine at Imperial College’s National Heart and Lung Institute, was elected president of the European Respiratory Society (ERS). ERS brings together physicians, healthcare professionals, scientists and other experts working in respiratory medicine. Its mission is to promote lung health to alleviate suffering from disease and drive standards for respiratory medicine globally.
It is the largest respiratory society in the world – covering not only Europe, but forging strong global links, particularly across Asia and Australasia.
Professor Simonds said: “I see this as a real opportunity to forge closer ties with our respiratory colleagues in Europe, at a time when many conversations seem to be about the UK going in the opposite direction. It is critically important to maintain our EU research links, which are hugely productive.
“The ERS genuinely effects change – it has a compelling voice on the environment, on smoking and chronic respiratory disorders for example, which has acted as an important lever on EU policy-makers. It works closely with the European Lung Foundation and has strong engagement with patients, working alongside them to prioritise the research and training the society focuses on.
“We want to see the society become even more international, fostering links with low-income countries, for example, and running international exchange programmes for clinicians and researchers.
“I’m also very keen to encourage multidisciplinary team members to take active roles in the society: nurses, clinical scientists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists, have such vital roles in treating patients with respiratory conditions and carrying out research.”
Professor Simonds has been instrumental in developing respiratory and sleep medicine at Royal Brompton since she joined in the 1990s, including leading the first team in the UK to use non-invasive ventilation in children and young people with inherited neuromuscular disorders, in turn influencing the care delivered to patients all over the world.
Dr Nick Hopkinson,
honorary consultant chest physician at Royal Brompton Hospital and reader in respiratory medicine at Imperial College, was appointed medical director of the British Lung Foundation (BLF).
The Trust has close links with the BLF – the leading national umbrella charity that funds research into, and supports people affected by, lung disease.
Dr Hopkinson said: “Lung disease is the third biggest killer in the UK, so it is important that we are able to support the delivery of the best possible care, ensure timely diagnosis, and take the necessary preventative steps to deliver good lung health – cutting smoking rates further, addressing air quality and challenging child poverty.”
Welcoming Dr Hopkinson as medical director, Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation said: “Nick has supported the BLF as an honorary medical adviser, health information expert and media spokesperson for many years. We are very glad that he is joining our team on a formal basis, to continue his tireless work on behalf of the people affected by lung disease that he sees every day.”
Dr Sonya Babu-Narayan,
consultant cardiologist at the Trust and clinical senior lecturer at Imperial College, has been appointed associate medical director for the British Heart Foundation (BHF). The BHF funds over £100 million of research each year into heart and circulatory conditions.
Dr Babu-Narayan said: “It’s a real honour to be joining the BHF. I know how the charity is trusted and valued by the heart and circulatory disease research community, as well as patients and their families’, who are at the very centre of everything we do.”
Dr Babu-Narayan is internationally recognised for her research to improve the care and quality of life of adults who were born with congenital heart disease. Associate medical directors provide leadership and strategic direction to the vital research mission of the BHF, helping to ensure every pound donated is used to support research with the potential to make the maximum impact for those affected by heart and circulatory diseases.