The PH Professionals is a multidisciplinary group formed in 2011 and made up of nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, clinical psychologists and others from across the UK’s specialist PH network.
Unique in its make-up, its core aims are centred around doing the best by patients. They include collaborating and sharing ideas; discussing issues surrounding treatments; developing best practice guidelines; discussing the mutual needs of the centres to influence commissioning on PH care and treatment, and developing and supporting collaborative multi-professional clinical research in PH.
The group meets twice a year and conversations continue in-between via a dedicated website and email network.
The group is facilitated by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA UK), with funding provided by a consortium of pharmaceutical companies. In return for this sponsorship, these companies may deliver a presentation to the group before each meeting, but they have no other involvement with meetings – and have no influence over the activities of the group.
Neil Hamilton, Consultant Pharmacist at the Sheffield Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit, is Chair of the group and said its origins lay in the desire to ensure good quality and equity of care for patients across the UK.
“We wanted a forum that provided an opportunity for healthcare professionals from across the specialist PH network to meet up and share best practice, research ideas and collaborate to ensure people receive similar high quality of care and access to treatment wherever they go.”– Neil Hamilton, Consultant Pharmacist
He added: “The PH Professionals group has grown in every respect since its formation and has representation from an expanding range of professions. This range of expertise adds scope and balance to the group but, more importantly, has a growing impact on the care of PH patients in the UK.”
Meetings take place every six months in London and are preceded the evening before by a research presentation, ensuring continuous professional development for attendees and keeping them at the forefront of developments.
Iain Armstrong, Chair of the PHA UK, said: “The PH Professionals meetings don’t just tick boxes; they provide a unique and inclusive opportunity for collaborative working and sharing of best practice. And with the PHA UK as secretariat, the group engenders a central philosophy of patient-centred care – which is at the heart of the NHS.”
A separate group for consultants mirrors the PH Professionals group. With similar aims, they also meet twice a year.
Iain added: “PH comes with many challenges and many uncertainties. What is clear, and very certain though, is that people living with the condition are supported by a dedicated, passionate and committed team of specialists who truly have patients at the heart of what they do.”