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The Academic Directorate of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery is the hub of research activity providing services to Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster, Bassetlaw, Chesterfield and Sheffield which equates to serving a population of approximately 1.8 million people. The Directorate has a history of rapid development and has seen a marked growth in the number and complexity of services it provides over recent years including provision of a 24/7 primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) service for ST elevation myocardial infarction to the whole region.

The Academic Directorate works closely with the University of Sheffield to deliver a high standard of research within the hospital which is one of the busiest and most successful NHS Foundation Trusts in the UK. The Directorate of Cardiology and the University of Sheffield have a strong track record in a wide range of clinical research areas collaborating well together frequently on a range of studies.

Research Strengths

Investigators within the Academic Directorate of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Department of Cardiovascular Science, University of Sheffield, have a strong track record in a wide range of clinical research areas within Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Funding for basic science research within the University Department of Cardiovascular Science is equally strong, providing an excellent base for translating scientific research into clinical benefits for patients. Members of the Directorate have published over 200 articles since 2005, including numerous publications in the highest impact international clinical research journals, and produced research that has received international recognition.

Key Research Areas

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals has 3 key focus areas for research which consist of the following. Firstly, to facilitate the discovery of new ways of preventing, treating and diagnosing cardiovascular disease, secondly, novel therapies for stable and unstable coronary heart disease, including antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory and hormonal therapies and new strategies for percutaneous and surgical revascularisation. The final key area of interest is the management of heart failure and the prevention of sudden cardiac death and sepsis.

More resources are required to develop these areas of research, and research needs to continue to be viewed as a core activity of the Directorate in order for appropriate priority to be given to develop the research infrastructure.

The directorate specialises in specific areas providing treatment for a wide range of heart conditions including:

  • Interventional Cardiology: Today, the majority of procedures for many conditions are non-surgical and require a shorter recovery period. Approximately 1,500 patients are treated by the Directorate per annum
  • South Yorkshire Heart Attack Centre: Patients from across the region suffering severe heart attacks are diagnosed by highly trained paramedics and brought directly to the South Yorkshire Cardiothoracic Centre for Primary Angioplasty. The lifesaving treatment is available 24/7 for emergencies and must be performed as soon as possible to limit the damage to the heart muscle during the heart attack.
  • Heart Failure Service: Have a dedicated heart failure ward where the Consultant Cardiologists and seven nurse specialists aim to provide Gold Standard investigation and treatment. The team work closely with colleagues in the Diabetes Service and community working teams
  • Cardiac Surgery Service: Offers a full range of specialist cardiac surgery procedures including valvular and aortic disease and coronary bypass surgery. The Team specialises in mitral valve, redo and aortic surgery undertaking 1300 open heart surgery procedures per annum with excellent results.
  • Cardiac Rhythm Management Service: Provides diagnostic and outpatients services; simple and complex pacemaker services; interventional cardiology procedures; specialist syncope clinic and a dedicated atrial fibrillation clinic. Patients are supported by an Arrhythmia Care Coordinator giving specialist advice and the team work closely with the Heart Failure, Inherited Cardiac Conditions and Adult Congenital Heart Disease services.
  • Inherited Cardiac Conditions Service:  Provides investigations, treatment and support to patients and families with a wide range of inherited cardiac conditions. The team works closely with the Clinical Genetics Service and Sheffield Children’s Hospital to provide a family centred service benefitting from nurse specialists who can provide counselling and lifelong support to patients affected by an inherited condition.
  • Adult Congenital Heart Disease Service (part of the Yorkshire Adult Congenital Heart Disease Network): Congenital heart disease affects approx 1% of all babies. Survival rates have improved from only 15% in the 1980’s to 85% today surviving into adulthood, thanks to advances in children’s heart surgery. The services offers vital long term care for this growing number of adult patients.

Patient and Public Involvement in Research

The Directorate has a Cardiovascular Research Patient Panel, which is made up of patients, relatives, carers and members of the public. The Panel meet regularly to review research proposals, with the primary aim of ensuring that studies are feasible and the protocols are suitable and manageable for patients.

The directorate currently has a large number of research active consultants and actively recruiting studies across the range of cardiology and cardiothoracic specialities. If you would like more information on what studies are currently being active within the department please use the contact page and direct your query to the appropriate person.


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