History, constitution & aims


Heart failure is a debilitating syndrome with a mortality rate similar to that of some cancers.

It is often misdiagnosed and under-diagnosed, and many heart failure patients, who are often elderly, also suffer from other complicating co-morbidities.

In response to the issues that the management of heart failure presents, the BSH was founded in 1998. The idea for the BSH was seeded after a satellite symposium on the diagnosis and management of heart failure, organised by Philip Poole-Wilson and John Cleland, at the British Cardiovascular Society Annual Conference in 1997. The original steering committee consisted of Philip Poole-Wilson, John Cleland, Richard Hobbs and Alan Cowley.

Previous Chairs

Philip Poole-Wilson: 1997-2001
Mick Davies: 2001-2003
Henry Dargie: 2003-2005
John Cleland: 2005-2007
Martin Cowie: 2007-2009
Theresa McDonagh: 2009-2011
Suzanna Hardman: 2011-2013
Andrew Clark: 2013-2015
Iain Squire: 2015-2017

Board/observers November 2017 to November 2019


The BSH is a registered Charity
(number 1075720).

For further information, please see



The BSH’s aims are

  • to increase knowledge and promote research about the diagnosis, causes, management and consequences of heart failure amongst healthcare professionals, with the intention of delaying or preventing the onset of heart failure and improving care for patients with heart failure
  • to provide expert advice to healthcare professionals, patient or government organisations, including the National Health Service, when appropriate and as requested.