UK’s first consultant nurse for children with inherited heart conditions

A nurse at the Trust has become the UK’s first consultant nurse in paediatric electrophysiology and inherited cardiac conditions (ICC).

Cath Renwick has been appointed to drive further improvements in patient care and improve understanding of individual conditions. Nurse consultants are highly experienced nurses, specialising in a particular field of healthcare. 

Her role will help to educate other staff, in a field which is still relatively new, and promote important research.

Cath has worked at the hospital for 20 years, and led the paediatric ICC and electrophysiology service (which focuses on electrical activity in the heart) for the last four. She said: “I’m delighted to take up this position. There is so much potential to develop our knowledge in this field and I’m looking forward to the prospect of driving improvements in the care patients receive on a larger scale.”

Her role is being funded by the Ben Williams Trust, which provides funding to support children and young adults with arrhythmias and their families. It was set up by the parents of 14-year-old Ben Williams, who died in 2006, having been diagnosed with the condition.

The charity has already funded two roles at Royal Brompton: a clinical nurse specialist and a clinical psychologist.  

In her new position, Cath will lead new pieces of research and develop the department’s electrophysiology ‘transition services’, which help and support teenage patients prepare for adult life with their condition.  

Cath will also take a more active role sharing best practice and training other nurses, as well as leading the evaluation of the hospital’s services and involving young patients more in their development and design.

Cath added: “Research will be key to this role. I would like to develop a research programme investigating the impact on daily life and transition into adolescence, and subsequently adulthood, on children with CPVT (catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia) and other complex inherited conditions.

“Adolescence can be a time when we see a fall in hospital attendance and more cases of young patients not following their treatment plans. They are also more likely to take part in activities that could increase the risk of triggering life threatening arrhythmias so it’s vital that we provide them with the support they need.”    

To find out more about the Trust’s children’s services, visit this section of our website.

To find out more about the Ben Williams Trust, visit their website.