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Celebrating the Fifth Anniversary

Celebrating the Fifth Anniversary

Wil's thoughts on the first five years

Tuesday 19th November 2019

Wow, Five years! To see a report which crystallises the hard work that has been put in over these past five years is heart-warming. Whilst the future of heart valve disease looks challenging, seeing how we turned the aims and aspirations from five years ago into real change provides hope.

However, knowing we have already improved and extended the lives of so many gives us the fire to continue doing what we do - and the determination to do even more. Whilst the PCR conference was where we celebrated the launch of our Five-Year Report, it was also an opportunity to talk to clinicians and industry leaders about the future of heart valve disease and consider Heart Valve Voice’s place in that future.

This year PCR put a focus on mitral valve disease, which is encouraging to see as mitral valve can sometimes be overlooked. But here, it certainly was not. Walking round the conference and seeing the incredible work being done in mitral valve research was astonishing. Mitral valve disease presents a unique set of problems but the kind of innovation in intervention that we saw today will go a long way to improving mitral valve disease pathways.

The future of cardiovascular care, and certainly heart valve disease, will be defined by innovation and nationwide access to the most cutting-edge technologies. Innovation in intervention continues to advance speedily and developing a program of options to present to patients to choose their treatment path is important. The UK lag the US and some of our European partners in access to innovative interventions and, whilst I’m confident we have the people here to deliver this technology, I’ll be working hard to push the conversation and processes along.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Intervention (TAVI) is the kind of cutting-edge technology we love to read, listen and talk about. I spoke to a host of clinicians at PCR on Monday about advances in TAVI technology and what the future holds for this kind of intervention. I certainly hope to see TAVI presented to more patients as a treatment option. With TAVI presenting a different experience for the patient it is our job to empower patients with the information needed so they can decide on treatment options.

For Heart Valve Voice and I though, Monday at PCR was all about our birthday and the publication of our Five-Year Report.

The report maps out how far we have come over the past five years as well as looking at what we want to achieve in the future. This year alone has been incredibly special. With our Gold Standard of Care, the subsequent professional endorsements, marking years of hard work from everyone involved with Heart Valve Voice. It feels fitting to sit here with that report, as we mark the start of the next five years of Heart Valve Voice. We have advanced policy so much this year and as those conversations evolve so too will our role in them.

Whilst our hard work has helped to shape the current cardiovascular landscape and will continue to do so in the future, most Importantly to me, and my team, is that Heart Valve Voice has helped to save lives, extend lives, improve lives and been a platform for people affected by heart valve disease to find community and feel supported.

Heart Valve Voice is a patient centred charity, and whilst ensuring patients have timely access to the best treatment options is at the forefront of what we do, creating a community, and space, where they, and their families, can continue to find support is something we should be very proud of. Our patient advocates began as patients looking for help and support and are now part of a network of support for others - and I cannot thank our wonderful advocates enough for all they do for us. To see so many of them in a room on Monday to celebrate our birthday with over three thousand doctors and industry leaders warmed my heart.

The first five years with Heart Valve Voice have been extraordinary and with the continued support of our team, patient advocates, trustees, clinicians, industry leaders and volunteers, we as a charity and force in cardiovascular care, will continue to grow bigger, shout louder, shape policy and change lives. Thank you to anyone who has supported us over the past five years, on to the next five.

Heart Valve Voice's Fifth Anniversary

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