Heart specialist receives Lifetime Achievement Award


A community-based cardiac imaging specialist has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Society of Echocardiography.

Liana Shirley, who has been a Clinical Physiologist since 1994, received the prestigious award for helping revolutionise community heart imaging services.

Liana was nominated by her colleague, Heart Failure Advanced Nurse Practitioner Viki Jenkins, who has praised her for her work in developing the UK’s first community based heart failure echo-diagnostic clinic set up by Dr Graham Thomas, GPwSI in Cardiology.

She said: “This service allows the patients to attend their appointments in local community hospitals and receive a full clinical examination which includes an ECG and Echo all performed on the same day.

“Liana then provides the patient with a diagnosis and with remote support from Dr Graham Thomas GPwSI in Cardiology, adjusts or produces an ongoing treatment plan.

“The patient is then referred back to their own GP with the new plan, or to other specialist services as appropriate without ever having to enter an acute hospital.

“This saves months of waiting times and several separate outpatient clinics in between.”

In 2018 Liana received a national award for her work on this service, which operates in communities across North Wales including Denbigh, Porthmadog and Corwen, from the British Heart Foundation.

As well as developing this service, Liana has also worked with the resuscitation department in BCUHB to introduce the Resuscitation Council UK course: Focussed Echo in Emergency Life Support (FEEL) into North Wales.

She has also taken her training passion over to the African nation of Lesotho as part of the ‘Wales for Africa’ health link as a volunteer. There she has trained medical colleagues in the fundaments of basic echocardiography and improving the care they deliver to their population.

“In my 26 years as a professional in the NHS I have rarely, if ever, come across a colleague who displays such passion for their work.

“Liana still has the determination to keep pushing the boundaries and addressing barriers in order to keep driving patient care forward.

“She is extremely deserving of this recognition and I am very proud to work alongside her,” added Viki.

Liana said:  “I feel very lucky to be in a profession that I not only enjoy, but also part of a service that makes such a difference to patients care and management and I am very proud to be part of such a wonderful community team. 

“This award from my professional body was completely unexpected but it is fantastic to be valued.”