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Heart specialist Jim Nolan has been honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the British Cardiovascular Intervention Society

Jim, who is Professor of Interventional Cardiology at UHNM and Keele University, introduced the use of the ‘transradial access technique’ into the UK. The cardiac unit at the Royal Stoke was the first centre in the UK to extensively use this technique in patients undergoing cardiac procedures. This  procedure has become the preferred approach for coronary intervention in the UK and globally, and much of this change has been driven by the educational and research efforts of the unit here in the Royal Stoke. More than 90 per cent of UK patients now undergo this method of treatment, which is safer and requires less aftercare.

Professor Nolan said: “The previous procedure involved going through the femoral artery at the top of the leg. This method has drawbacks with complications and inconvenience for patients. Now, by using the transradial approach patients are able to get up and walk around pretty soon after surgery, often going home the same day. There is less bleeding and the procedure as a whole is safer and less traumatic for the body.

“Cardiology is a fascinating specialty and I have always been interested in improving the way we do things. When we perform procedures we are able to help people, and can actually change the course of a patients life.

“It’s a tremendous honour and a privilege to get this award. No amount of money can buy something like this.  I have great respect for the Society, so it means a lot coming from them.

“A lot of people have helped me along the way and it’s been incredible to see the progress of things in the UK.

“The team at Royal Stoke have been fantastic to work with. Learning this new technique involved a big change but over the years they have embraced innovative ways of practice and have been willing to step into the unknown.”

Professor Nolan’s career has spanned more than 30 years. He trained in Leeds but has also spent time in London and Edinburgh.

In the mid-90s he travelled to Amsterdam to learn the transradial technique. When he returned to the UK he began pioneering it and has since played a pivotal role in the training and education of generations of doctors.

Professor Nolan has published multiple research papers, travelling around the world to talk about the transradial technique. His commitment and dedication has raised the profile of UHNM’s heart centre in the UK and internationally.