British Society for Heart Failure

Why Attend?

This webinar is to discuss and explore the overlap of symptoms with other conditions, how they might manifest within and conversely mask, heart failure during the diagnostic period

Join us for an in-depth discussion on Wednesday 29th September 2021, 18:00 – 19:00 BST


Chair: Stephen Petitt

Speaker: Poppy Brooks

Speaker: Rhys Williams

Speaker: Carla Plymen

Speaker: PBSH Patient Advisor Panel 


Stephen Pettit

Name: Dr Stephen Pettit


Role and place of work: Cardiologist, Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge. I work closely with surgeons, intensivists and specialist nurses, looking after some of the sickest heart failure patients in the UK. I am also an accredited cardiac device specialist and implant cardiac resynchronisation therapy pacemakers and defibrillators.


Accomplishments: I am proud to have been elected to the board of the British Society for Heart Failure in 2017 and have served as Treasurer since 2019. I was appointed Clinical Lead for the Transplant unit at Royal Papworth Hospital in 2020. When not working, cycling or growing chillies, I try to raise the profile of advanced heart failure, mechanical circulatory support and heart transplantation.

Professional/Heart Failure goals: Allow heart failure patients to be treated in a way that best fits their values, preferences, and goals. And make sure their decisions are not the result of ignorance or fear.


Twitter handle: @drstephenpettit

Email: s[email protected]

Poppy Brooks

Name: Poppy Brooks


Role and place of work: Lead Nurse, Cardiac Support Services, Northern Devon Healthcare Trust


Accomplishments: I started my career on CCU at University Hospitals Trust Southampton, where I was also an ACS Nurse Specialist. Since moving to Devon, I have been highly fortunate to specialise in heart failure and work with many wonderful colleagues in the hospital and community. I was really honoured to become part of the BSH Nurse Forum steering committee in January 2020 and I also sit on the BSH Policy and Media committee. I am an Editorial Board member of the British Journal of Cardiac Nursing. 


Professional/ Heart Failure goals: To reduce the inequities in heart failure service provision, raise public awareness of heart failure and to champion the role of nurses and allied health professionals in specialist heart failure care. 


Twitter Handle: @PoppyBrooks1


Email: [email protected]


Carla Plymen

Name: Dr Carla Plymen

Role and place of work: Cardiologist, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London
Accomplishments: I lead a large and busy integrated heart failure service in North West
London which is currently working to transform how heart failure care is delivered. I sit
on several regional and international committees to facilitate this on a larger scale and also
to ensure and support clinical and patient support and education.

Professional/Heart Failure goals: To make sure every patient with heart failure has access
to specialist care, no matter where they live.

Twitter handle: @drcplymen
Email: [email protected]

Rhys Williams

Coming soon...

Laurence Humphreys-Davies

Laurence enjoyed a successful 40 year career as a leading physical oil broker in the worldwide energy market. His professional career was curtailed on diagnosis with heart valve disease following a heart attack in 2014.


He has had surgery twice to repair and replace affected valves. Subsequently he was then fitted with a pacemaker; he currently lives with heart failure.


“Since being diagnosed with heart failure I have been careful to manage my medicine and exercise routine. But it’s the first thing that tips you over the edge. The minute you get an infection your water retention goes up, your lungs fill up, and you have to be ultra-careful. So Covid-19 is quite scary”.


Laurence is an active charity fundraiser involved with the British Heart Foundation and is a Trustee of a leading co-educational school.


He is father to 2 children and has 4 grandchildren with whom he is planning to spend more time once lockdown is finally over.

Lynn Hedgecoe

Lynn describes herself as living ‘a life of two halves’, her successful business career having been halted by a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy.

At that point her professional journey became her patient journey, heavily reliant on her experience of developing and managing businesses, organisations and events in the retail, financial services, human resources, health research and charity sectors.


“Inclusion, after integrity, is my most important value”, Lynn is a Change-maker for Cardiomyopathy UK and also an active member and Trustee of the Vital Signs Foundation for young people with heart problems.


She is a keen advocate and ambassador for beneficial change with a passion for making a difference, for helping others be at their best and for doing the right thing. 

Andy Smith

I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 2012 and now happily manage my condition with via medication and an ICD.


My heart history pushed me into early retirement, but it has also opened doors, especially volunteering in the charity sector in this new, exciting role for BSH alongside my existing work with Cardiomyopathy UK.


I’m a lover of the natural world, enjoying walking and nature photography. My favourite place would be a toss-up between a forest glade or watching a rugby match, a sport I’ve played, coached, and now help to administer.

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