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 in places such as Denbigh, Porthmadog and Corwen.

Ms Shirley 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.

Ms Jenkins said: “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.”

Ms Shirley’s service allows the patients to attend their appointments in community hospitals and receive a full clinical examination which includes an ECG and Echo all performed on the same day.

Patient then receive a diagnosis and remote support from Dr Graham Thomas, GPwSI in Cardiology, who produces an ongoing treatment plan which is then referred back to their own GP without ever having to enter an acute hospital.

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

In 2018 MS Shirley received a national award for her work on this service from the British Heart Foundation and has worked with the resuscitation department in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board 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.

Ms Shirley 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.”