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What’s it like to work on the Atrial Fibrillation (AF) national programme?

As part of our day in a life series exploring the different team roles here at ICHP, Innovation Advisor, Priya Ramanah shares her day with us.

I first open my eyes…
My alarm goes off at 6.30am, I make a coffee, grab my bags and usually head to the gym or get a yoga session in. On the way I catch up on the news (usually The Economist or BBC News) and listen to some music to get me ready for the day. Breakfast is usually eggs or jumbo oats. I normally take the bus as I try to avoid sweaty tubes as much as I can!

I’m responsible for….
I’m part of the ICHP team that supports the Atrial Fibrillation (AF) national programme and patient safety culture workstream. AF is an irregular heartbeat and is the most common form of heart rhythm disorder. We know that in North West (NW) London, Public Health England estimates there are more than 17,000 people with undiagnosed AF which places them at a considerably higher risk of AF-related strokes. We also know that there are over 4,300 patients with identified AF in NW London and are at a high risk of stroke who are not currently on the anticoagulation NICE recommended treatment. The AF programme is working to make significant impact on these figures. I get to engage with a wide range of AF stakeholders in NW London and support their involvement with the programme. For example, for #HearthRhythmWeek this year I organised AF screening events to help detect people with AF and worked closely with our Communication team and Business Intelligence team to share our AF data sets including our Opportunity Analysis tool to local CCGs.

My path took me…
I have always been interested in health, having a background in biochemistry and a masters in health management, it has lead me to a health related role. I have previously worked in contract research organisation in areas of pharmacovigilance, regulatory and medical information. I also work at the family run business care home.

My daily calendars reminders look like…
I work on multiple projects which means that every day is different (apart from the usual meetings, calls and emails of course!). It is really important in my role that I help support and develop ICHP’s relationships with our partners around the programmes I work on. This means that I can often be found out and about across NW London at GP practices, CCGs and hospitals spreading the work of ICHP.

My most memorable work moment…
My first day at ICHP just so happened to be the same day as the Health and Care Innovation NHS Expo. This is a big NHS annual event with celebrates innovation, enterprise and collaboration, bringing together NHS and care leaders, commissioners, clinicians, voluntary sector partners, innovators, private-sector media and loads more. It was brilliant to be immersed immediately into the world of the NHS and connect with so many new faces (albeit on my first day!). This set the tone for my time here – learning constantly from my colleagues and all their extensive networks!

My biggest groan about my job is…
As our programmes are national as well as local it means that there is a lot of involvement across many different networks, teams and people which can sometimes feel like it adds additional time to move work forward.

My best part of my job…
I really love the population data that ICHP has available and how I’m able to use it in my projects to show healthcare professionals just how powerful it can be towards improving the health of their population. However, above all else, it is the people and culture of ICHP and being surrounded by people with such varied backgrounds which makes it such a very interesting place to work.