Tuesday 8 January 2019
Chateau Impney


09:30 AM

Registration & Refreshments

09:50 AM

Event App Overview Karl Hamer

09:55 AM

Welcome Dr Alex Meyer

10:00 AM

Preventing AF related strokes: A call to action Professor Tony Rudd

10:15 AM

National AHSN Programme Faye Edwards

We will explore the scale of opportunities and challenges ahead. Look at national initiatives and their impact to-date.

10:30 AM

West Midlands Approach

  • Device Distribution – Detect – Lucy Chatwin
  • AF detection in Stoke and Staffordshire – Protect – Professor Ruth Chambers
  • Clinical Network (Pathway and Strategy) – Perfect – Victoria Millward
11:15 AM

Panel Q & A Session - chaired by Alex Meyer

11:35 AM

Morning Refreshments

11:50 AM

Roundtable Discussions (5 tables - choose 3) - 20 minutes each session

Delegate packs will be presented with personalised localised data. An action plan with detect/protect/perfect and recommendations on how each supporter can help to achieve their AF acceleration objectives.

  • Virtual Clinics in AF – Helen Williams
  • Initiating Anticoagulation in Primary Care – Dr Saj Sarwar
  • Primary Care Upskilling – Dr Alex Meyer
  • Excellence in anticoagulation care – Nazish Khan
  • AF: Raising Awareness: How to do it well – Trudie Lobhan
12:50 PM


13:50 PM

BHF Patient Video

13:55 PM

Navigating through AF Data Sally Crick

14:10 PM

AF in Primary Care Dr Alex Meyer

14:25 PM

Short Q&A Session

14:30 PM

Patient story Brendan Young

14:45 PM

Afternoon Refreshments

15:00 PM

Roundtable Discussions (5 tables - choose 2) - 20 minutes each session

  • Virtual Clinics in AF – Helen Williams
  • Initiating Anticoagulation in Primary Care – Dr Saj Sarwar
  • Primary Care Upskilling – Dr Alex Meyer
  • Excellence in anticoagulation care – Nazish Khan
  • AF: Raising Awareness: How to do it well – Trudie Lobhan
15:40 PM

Anticoagulation - Myth Buster Nazish Khan

15:55 PM

Q&A Session and Close Dr Alex Meyer


Tony Rudd is Professor of Stroke Medicine at Kings College London and the National Clinical Director for Stroke for NHS England. He runs the stroke programme producing national stroke guidelines and the national audit (SSNAP). His research interests are stroke rehabilitation, organisation of care and quality improvement with over 300 peer reviewed publications. He was made a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2013.

Faye is the National Programme Manager for the Atrial Fibrillation (AF) Programme across the 15 Academic Health Science Networks, she oversees the AF programme across the three programme elements; Detect, Protect and Perfect. This includes the national roll out of AF detection devices, raising public awareness of AF, improving the quality of anticoagulation services and the spread and adoption of best practice in AF nationwide.

Consultant Pharmacist for Cardiovascular Disease, South London, UK
National Clinical Adviser for AF, AHSN Network
Clinical Director for AF, Health Innovation Network
Clinical Lead for Cardiovascular Disease, Southwark and Lambeth CCGs

As Consultant Pharmacist for CVD Disease, Helen is involved in a wide range of activities across South London to improve the care of patients with or at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Helen chairs the local cardiovascular medicines working group which develops and supports the implementation of consensus evidence-based guidance for use across South London’s 12 clinical commissioning groups and 7 acute trusts, covering a population of 3.6million. Currently, there is a strong focus on medicines optimisation in primary care for long terms conditions such as heart failure, hypertension and atrial fibrillation with the aim of reducing the burden of acute hospital admissions and she has been involved in supporting primary care practitioners through guideline implementation, clinical audit and provision of pharmacist-led virtual clinics. A key focus over recent years has been to increase the proportion of patients with AF who are anticoagulated to reduce the incidence of AF-related stroke.

Helen is also the clinical lead for CVD within two South London CCGs, Clinical Director for AF in the local Health Innovation Network, National Clinical Adviser to the collaborative AF programme of the 15 Academic Health Science Networks across England and also co-chair of the Pan-London stroke prevention in Atrial Fibrillation strategy group. In addition, Helen is an editorial board member for the British Journal of Cardiology and the Journal of Medicines Optimisation, has worked with NICE on the development of a number of cardiovascular guidelines and is a member of the NHS England Primary Care Cardiovascular Leadership Forum and the London Cardiovascular and Stroke Strategic Clinical Leadership Groups.

Dr Alex Meyer has been a GP Principal in Yardley Wood in South Birmingham since 2009. He has a special interest in Atrial Fibrillation and Anticoagulation, and runs an Anticoagulation Clinic. He is a Clinical Adviser to the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network for their AF Programme, and is an adviser to BSol CCG for the AF component of their Universal Offer proposal. He believes that most AF patients can be safely and appropriately managed in Primary Care.

Lucy works alongside health economy leaders to drive sustainable service improvement in healthcare by empowering members and partners to collaborate at a regional level on adopting and disseminating research and innovation at pace and scale.

Prior to joining the WMAHSN, Lucy spent seven years within a West Midlands acute trust in various roles, but predominantly as the Head of Transformation, leading on the service improvement initiatives across the trust and the local health economy.

Ruth is Clinical Chair at Stoke-on-Trent CCG. She is an honorary professor at Staffordshire University and also Keele University.

Nine years ago, Ruth led on establishing a Quality Improvement Framework across Stoke-on-Trent which has raised standards in general practices on a wide range of measures, from staff development to patient empowerment, improved clinical practice and patients’ health outcomes. She has used innovative approaches to raise the level of knowledge of local GPs, and improve communication between hospital doctors and those in primary care. A feature of this has been a number of educational events, master classes, and initiatives to enable patient care to be transferred from hospital to primary care. Where practices were found to be weak, her team offered support, enabling them to build on their strengths, and incorporate changes within a culture of learning. Having established this pattern, she was able to support other areas to make similar changes as a consultant in various areas of the UK, and her practical clinical background enabled other clinicians to accept local initiatives more readily.

Over a long career Ruth has written 71 books (yes 71!!) –mainly for general practice teams, a few for the public. One was on mentoring and captured her learning from having created several mentoring programmes over the years eg for new or inexperienced GPs with well embedded GPs; and a similar scheme for general practice managers. Ruth has spoken at local events/ national & international conferences on many subjects, reflecting her evolving interests and achievements – eg doctors’ stress, NHS Health Check, patient empowerment, technology enabled care; as well as carrying out research (Ruth got an MD in 1996), and contributing to national guidance.

Victoria has over 10 years’ experience working in cardiac and stroke networks and now leads the CVD and Respiratory Network at NHSE West Midlands. Previous to this she worked for 5 years within the surgical directorate at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital and prior to this with Sandwell PCT. Victoria has a Master’s degree in business administration (MBA) choosing to study global industry bringing this skill set to working within the NHS.  She has a passion for quality improvement and system leadership in healthcare.

Sally Crick began working in public health in the national surveillance of AIDS/HIV within what was then the Public Health Laboratory Service.  She then moved to the West Midlands Regional Health Authority where she was part of the HIV Unit, becoming project manager for the Regional HIV Information Project. She achieved a Masters in Health Care Policy and Management at the University of Birmingham

During a career break of ten years, to have and look after four children she volunteered as director at a local preschool managing the payroll and finances.

Returning to work as a regional analyst with the National Drug Treatment Monitoring Service she worked closely with colleagues to help in the translation of data into useful information for planning and service improvement.  She then took a secondment opportunity to work with the National Diabetes Information Service.  Sally has been in her current role as network manager of the National Cardiovascular Health Intelligence Network since June 2014 and, among other duties, led the NCVIN masterclass programme.

Principal Pharmacist Cardiac Services

Department of Pharmacy, The Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust.

Nazish, an independent pharmacist prescriber, has extensive experience in the management of cardiac patients.

Nazish is a condition specific member of the cardiovascular pool for the Clinical Guidelines Update Team, which is a sub-group of NICE Committee C.  In addition, Nazish has acted as a clinical expert in the development of a number of cardiovascular specific technology appraisals, including a DOAC in the management of non-valvular atrial fibrillation.

Nazish is a member of the Cardiovascular Research Group at RWT and has a keen interest in anti-platelet agents and their drug handling particularly during the acute phase of a myocardial infarction.  She has several publications related to her research work.

She is a member of the United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacy Association (UKCPA) Cardiovascular Committee and faculty member for the allied health professionals’ sub-group of the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons.  Nazish also holds the position of Honorary Senior Research Fellow with the Institute of Clinical Sciences, School of Pharmacy at the University of Birmingham.   In addition, she is responsible for the postgraduate cardiovascular and heart failure diploma modules at Keele University and has contributed to several cardiovascular modules offered by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE).

She is a member of the West Midlands AHSN AF project team and will use her pharmacological knowledge and expertise to work alongside other healthcare professionals to help improve outcomes for patients with atrial fibrillation.


Dr Saj Sarwar is a GP Partner in Aston, a busy inner city practice. He is a GP trainer and works in Palliative care.

He has been working as a GP with an interest in anticoagulation and in particular with stroke prevention in AF. He has worked closely with Professor Lip, to develop pathways for optimal care and cascade this to health care professionals. He has introduced the TTR as a KPI for the anticoagulation service to ensure pragmatic decision making and assist in appropriate prescribing.

Dr Sarwar and Professor Lip have provided educational meetings at the trust and CCG level to up skill GPs around management and stroke prevention. The collaborative working has meant both have been awarded the Academic Science Network award winner for the ‘Excellence in Wellness and Prevention Of Illness award.’ This was in light of developing and promoting the simple Birmingham 3 step approach for dealing with reducing stroke risk in AF patients, and the close working relationship between the trust and the CCG.

This work has worked as a local initiative but has received global recognition, with culmination into a publication in the European Heart Journal.

Brendan Young - Patient/Public Voice for Stroke Service Improvement Hereford & Worcs STP Programme Board, Worcs Stroke Strategy Forum, Worcs Acute Hospital Trust Stroke Directorate, Worcs Integrated Community Stroke Rehabilitation & Recovery Group, West Midlands Stroke STP and West Midlands NHSE/AHSN AF Group.

Having had a successful Patient Access & Marketing career within Pharmaceuticals and Consultancy across the UK and in West Midlands, Brendan retired early from his career to become a voluntary Campaigner and Co-producer with NHS Bodies to improve Professional Support for Stroke Treatment & Prevention.

He has used his extensive experience as an NHS Change Agent with an extensive Network of Providers and Commissioners within the NHS and Industry to support Stroke Service Improvement Reviews within the West Midlands Clinical Senate for the past 5 years.

His final Industry role enabled him to develop 3 years learning experience of working across most of West Midlands Health Economy introducing the first available DOAC, mainly at pre-licencing phase.

In 2014, operating in a patient representative role in South Worcestershire CCG and patient voice on the Stroke Strategy Group and Co-Commissioning Group, Brendan coproduced a Value Proposition with Clinical Commissioners which led to the GP Practices agreeing a QOF Plus Priority for Stroke Prevention and specifically focusing on AF Stroke Prevention through improved anticoagulation; with positive success.

With 3 Worcs CCGs working closely, the AF Stroke Prevention Strategy is now available to all Worcs patients and the GP/CCG led initiative has since evolved into a new initiative where AF Stroke Prevention has high GP awareness beyond QOF focus.

This project has significantly increased Detection and Prevention of AF related Stroke Patients presenting at local Acute Stroke Services and is a pre-requisite for Acute Stroke Service improvement.

Throughout, Brendan has maintained a close supporter of patients across the whole pathway from Prevention, HASU/ASU Services and Rehab through his involvement with Decision Making and maintains direct contact with patients and the public, including local media channels.

Brendan latterly used his Wellbeing Coaching skills to establish a flourishing Stroke Recovery Group in Worcestershire to provide Mental Health & Wellbeing opportunities together with social support. Having an Acquired Brain Injury following a traumatic car crash some years ago, he has some personal insight into “hidden” cognitive and emotional issues affecting “Brain Attack” patients and care supporters.



Chateau Impney Hotel & Exhibition Centre

Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire WR9 0BN

By road:
From junction 5 of the M5, follow the A38 towards Droitwich Spa and Worcester for approximately five minutes. You’ll see signs directing you to the hotel.

By rail:
The nearest train station is Droitwich Spa, which is just over a mile from the hotel.


Registration is free for healthcare professionals within the UK who have a special interest in AF. Please note that spaces are limited and available on a first-come first-served basis.