Specialist Nurse, Huddersfield Royal Infirmary
I have been a Specialist Nurse for Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) since April 2017, following 10 years as a Nurse Prescriber in various GP Practices in West Yorkshire. I am employed by York Teaching Hospitals but am actually based in our West Yorkshire clinical hub at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary. I provide a nurse led clinic which involves genetic counselling and testing Index patients and their relatives (Cascade Testing) for FH. Familial Hypercholesterolaemia is an inherited condition which leads to exceptionally high cholesterol levels, often double and sometimes four times those of the general population.1 in 250 of the general population has FH but many are as yet undiagnosed, leaving individuals at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease and dying suddenly at a premature age from a heart attack. I finished a Master’s Degree in Genomic Medicine in November 2020 at The University of Manchester and applied straight away for a part-time PhD opportunity. I am absolutely delighted to have been selected to undertake research in conjunction with St. John’s University, York. This research will focus upon whether physical activity intervention can reduce cholesterol in familial hypercholesterolaemia. Initially establishing what the current physical activity levels of FH patients are and do they currently meet the NICE recommendations and then moving on to ascertain the relationship between physical activity, sedentary behaviour on lipid profile and associated risk factors in FH patients. I am also a member of the GMSA North-East and Yorkshire FH Transformation Project Steering Group which will be responsible for engaging Primary Care GP Practice’s in case finding from existing caseloads to find more people with FH in order to help achieve the NHS Long Term Plan of identifying 25% of the population with FH. We have also just been accepted and ratified by the NMC with developing and delivering the BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing Programme at St John’s University and I will be responsible for delivering the Genomics content within our nursing programmes.