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Day Two of Street Doctor

Day Two of Street Doctor

Wil and his second #valvediseaseblog

Tuesday 17th September 2019

Yesterday was a great day for Heart Valve Voice and for the European Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week. After the success of Street Doctor in London and Edinburgh the team couldn’t wait to get going and we were in a new city and a new country. Our third in the last 24 hours!!

If the success of our time in London and Edinburgh wasn’t inspiring enough then meeting up with David Blair definitely was. David and I met during Euro PCR Bike Ride last year and he has since joined our patient advocate group. He has cycled London to Paris for Heart Valve Voice, as well as Land’s End to John O’Groats in ten days a few months after his surgery no less. Always willing to help, even Belfast’s gun metal skies and misty rain couldn’t knock him, our Street Doctors or the rest of the team off our stride.

Our patient advocates are at the very core of what we do. Their voice colours ours and we are always so happy to see them and grateful for all the work they do for us.

The afternoon was a change of direction from the busy streets, and we turned out attention and tools towards the online format, with a series of educational webinars for health care professional as well a specific webinar for GPs.

These webinars are about creating an early detection culture around heart valve disease. Early detection is paramount, and we can’t pull any punches when talking about the severity of the risks when valve disease goes unnoticed.

50% chance of surviving two years if severe – these are the reasons we talk to people and listen to as many hearts as we can.

The webinars offer a different platform and a different kind of reach. We have to be creative with how we increase our exposure, and we have found this online resource to be an effective tool in communicating with clinician. It’s easy to access, ultimately portable and doesn’t require travel or consume too much time from their already busty schedules.

I had the pleasure of delivering a webinar to nearly 300 NHS staff with Dr Matt Kearney NHS England's National Clinical Director for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and then later in the afternoon Chris Arden delivered a CPD webinar for primary care clinicians wanting to learn more about heart valve disease as we continue to develop their understanding of the disease and how to recognise the symptoms and increase access to treatments.

Chris will be with us again on Thursday for Silversurfers which will be open to the general public as well. Details of which are here.

As Day 2 of Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week ended the team were clearly buzzing about what we’ve achieved already. We’ve spoken to so many people, listened to hundreds of hearts and got our message to vast amounts of the public and clinicians. We’re buoyed by our work over the last two days and excited for today which sees a tweet chat, a launch of our German patient charity and our Valve Clinic photos should pour in.

Our Street Doctors have been incredible over the last two days and they will be back with us in Cardiff later in the month when are in the Welsh Assembly to discuss the Welsh Report launched on Thursday. Keep your eyes peeled for that. For now, a huge thank you to the Street Doctors!