Sheffield charity founder receives prestigious national recognition

The founder of a Sheffield-based rare disease charity has been highly commended in his category of a prestigious national nursing awards.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 11:22 am

Dr Iain Armstrong, chair of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association in Chapeltown, was recognised in the ‘Innovations in your Specialty’ category of the Royal College of Nursing Nursing Awards.

Iain, who also works as a nurse consultant at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, was praised for his work in creating ‘EmPHasis-10’ - a clinical tool that measures quality of life for people with the rare disease pulmonary hypertension.

Designed as a simple questionnaire 11 years ago, it is now used around the world to help doctors and nurses understand how patients affected by this condition are responding to treatment. The tool addresses healthcare in a more holistic way by asking questions about mental wellbeing and general health, as well as about specific symptoms of the disease.

Dr Iain Armstrong.

Stocksbridge-based Iain said: “I was stunned to be recognised in this category amongst such outstanding finalists. I am very proud of what has been achieved with EmPHasis-10, and the part it plays in helping people with pulmonary hypertension enjoy a better quality of life.”

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare disease caused by the thickening and stiffening of the blood vessels supplying the lungs. The reduced blood flow makes it harder for the right side of the heart to pump blood through the arteries, which can result in heart failure.

The main symptom of PH is breathlessness, with fatigue, dizziness and chest pain common too. The condition is thought to affect just 8,000 people in the UK.

Chris Morley, chief nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This commendation is richly deserved by Iain, and is a fantastic recognition of his work and his dedication to improving the quality of life for people with pulmonary hypertension.”

Iain co-founded the Pulmonary Hypertension Association 21 years ago to support those living with the life-limiting disease, and the charity now has over 4,500 members.