Role Models: Community Cardiology

Dr Clare Hammond
"Working in the community is extremely rewarding and is definitely the way forward for as many services as possible."

Having completed my medical school training at Birmingham University, I completed my HO and SHO posts at QEH/ Selly Oak and Sandwell. At that stage I was unable to decide which speciality I wanted to pursue. I knew exactly what I didn’t want to do. The cardiology registrar at Sandwell, had worked at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital as a SHO and when she noticed an advertisement for a cardiology training post, she suggested I applied. So I did, I was appointed and moved to Liverpool two months later. That was December 1996 and I’ve been here ever since.

Although I really enjoyed coronary intervention, I preferred sleep and so I completed dual accreditation and became a cardiologist at a busy local DGH in 2005. I learned cardiac CT, helping to set up the service with my radiology colleagues; was heavily involved with training and education; became the trust’s heart failure lead and developed a very rudimentary cardio-oncology service.

However, after 10 years I wanted a change and was able to return to LHCH as a community cardiologist. I love my job, although I know many of my colleagues would hate what I do! I work as part of a team, providing cardiology clinics in local primary care resource centres. We have all the usual diagnostics available in a one-stop service, enabling patients in a deprived area of Merseyside to access care more easily. I also support three local community heart failure teams. I have no inpatient work or on-call commitment, which significantly improved my work-life balance. I have the time to pursue other interests in education and mentoring.

Working in the community is extremely rewarding and is definitely the way forward for as many services as possible.

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