In this week’s episode of Hospital on BBC Two shines a light on our heart attack centre and our neurology and cancer services. Meet staff who work in cardiology, neurology and cancer services providing world-class care to our patients every day.

Iqbal Malik
Dr Iqbal Malik, consultant cardiologist

What I do

I’ve worked at the Trust for 14 years. As one of the senior interventional cardiologists, I run the structural heart programme. I am really a plumber – I open pipes and close holes. I’m also the clinical governance lead for the surgical division.

Best part of my job

The best part of my job is seeing my patients make amazing recoveries. Seeing them hugely better four weeks after their procedure is very gratifying.

We have a world-class team. One day, I asked for the whole team to come in at 6am on a Saturday to do a live case broadcast to an international meeting. The case went well – the meeting said the team came across brilliantly. I was immensely proud of our achievement – we went above and beyond standard NHS practice.

The biggest challenge

Despite an immense skill base, the lack of money in the NHS means we work in ageing infrastructure and are not allowed to do procedures that others in the would consider standard, but that we have been stopped from doing.

Outside of work

I like to charity work when I leave hospital. I have been blessed in this life, and could do more to help others by giving what is most precious in my life – time. Donating money is the easy bit. Giving time is hard. London is an amazing place to be – it’s a cosmopolitan city that lets you be who you are, whatever race, religion, creed you are. And it refuses to be bowed by man-made disasters.

Dr Ozan Demir, cardiology registrar

What I do

I'm a cardiology registrar and I've been at the Trust for about 18 months. I spent some time here earlier in my career and really enjoyed it, so I was pleased to have the chance to come back.

Since medical school I have been interested in cardiology. It is a rapidly developing specialty with strong emphasis on research which has led to significant advancements over the last decade, culminating in better treatment of cardiac disease. 

On an average day I split my time between the cardiac catheter lab and our cardiac wards. I'm an interventional registrar in my third year of cardiac training so I work with consultants like Dr Malik on angioplasty procedures in the cath lab. I'm currently being trained in cardiac intervention (angioplasty and transcatheter aortic valve implantation).

Best part of my job

The best part of my job is the fact that in this specialty you make a huge difference for a patient in a relatively short period of time. When a patient comes into the heart attack centre, if required, we take them into the cath lab and quickly intervene, in some cases save their lives. And then to be able to see them on the ward recovering – to see the difference our intervention has made in just a few short hours – that's really rewarding.

Outside of work

When I'm not at the hospital or on call, I like cycling and running, and I try to spend as much time with my family as possible. London is a fantastic, cosmopolitan city – there are few like it in the world.

Sarah Storey
Sarah Storey, matron, inpatient cardiology

What I do

I’ve worked at the Trust for nearly three and a half years. As a matron in inpatient cardiology, I oversee the management of three cardiology areas: the heart assessment centre, the coronary care unit (A7 ward) and our very successful step-down ward (C8 ward). I cover 54 beds, looked after by 85 staff.

Best part of my job

The best part of my job is observing the day-to-day achievements of our staff and supporting each individual to reach their best potential. I love seeing the success stories of our patients due to the interventions of departments across all cardiology areas, from the unplanned London Ambulance Service admissions to the heart assessment centre, treatment in the cardiac catheter laboratories and their post-procedure care on our wards and eventually home. Reading the feedback left on our Friends and Family Tests is also very rewarding.

Every day I am amazed at the tenacity of the staff on the heart assessment centre and the coronary care unit and the clinical scenarios they face, particularly the recently revised chest pain pathway. In addition, our C8 ward recently underwent the annual ward accreditation inspection and scored gold across all domains. I was so proud of the whole team and particularly the observation of care being delivered to our patients.

Developing my career

Recently I have been given a wonderful opportunity to commence the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson healthcare leadership programme/MSc and award. I started this last month with the full support of my managers. The aim is to consolidate all that I have learnt over the last three and a half years leading such a demanding yet rewarding service, while reflecting on my leadership style.

Outside of work

Currently I am working towards a 0 to 10K exercise programme, it’s a great release. Downtime is important, particularly when you are dealing with a demanding emergency cardiology service, so I like to take my car out for a drive and spend time with my family and friends.

I like the vibrancy and diversity of London and how that transfers to our staff group. I’m particularly drawn to large London teaching hospitals due to the opportunities they give you to develop clinically, academically and career wise. With the right tenacity and drive you can achieve your goals – I certainly have.

Jess Jones, healthcare assistant, cardiology

What I do

I’m new to the Trust – prior to this role I worked in mental health care. Day-to-day I assist the nurses in any of their duties, including basic bedside hygiene, ECGs, taking lunch orders and serving food, discharging patients and more. My ward matron is very good at encouraging us to take up opportunities – I’ve been designated nutrition key worker and I’m currently doing a course in cannulation and venepuncture.

Best part of my job

My team is the best part of my job. It’s very much team-orientated here and it’s a great group to work with. I love everything about the job though. It’s all about the patients for me; it can be difficult sometimes but rewarding – you get to save lives at the end of the day.

A memorable moment

My most memorable moment so far was probably when I inserted my first cannula. It was a little bit daunting, more because you have to stick to a step-by-step process than because of inserting the needle.

In terms of patients, I particularly remember one lady who really tugged on my heartstrings. She didn’t have anyone and didn’t speak much English but she always asked me to see her. I often wonder how’s she’s doing. To be honest though, the whole experience has been memorable – it’s my first NHS post and I really owe the ward and the management so much. It’s a learning curve but in six months I’ve learned so much. They really treat you well here and make sure that you are always learning.

Biggest challenge

The biggest challenge has been the change in job in the first place because I’d never had an NHS job before, and because I’ve moved from Wales to London. It’s all a challenge, really, but I’m all about taking on new challenges. It’s a high-paced ward, there are emergency patients coming in and you’re always on your feet.

Outside of work

I like to have a glass of wine, play pool, most of all to socialise. I have a big circle of friends at home in Wales – not quite so many here in London but I have a very good network of people around me here considering the shift patterns I have.

I love the variety of people I’ve met in London – patients with different ethnicities, religions and backgrounds. I’m a people person so I like to sit and talk with patients. Other than that, I love the South Bank and Leicester Square and Richmond is lovely, too.

Richard Anderson
Richard Anderson, patient activities volunteer

What I do

I am a patient activity volunteer on the neurorehabilitation unit at Charing Cross Hospital. Patients with neurological conditions undergo intensive therapy sessions on the unit during the week, but on the weekend, boredom can set in, especially for patients with no family members close by. I help keep the patients entertained and stimulate their brains through board games, music and socialising.

Why I do it

I decided to get involved after I spent three months at Charing Cross recovering from a brain injury. I felt immense gratitude to the staff so I thought I’d see if there was any way that I could get involved in volunteering with Imperial Health Charity.

I can empathise with patients because I was in a very similar situation. I can understand the frustration that some of them have on the ward when there isn’t the occupational therapy that would take place during the week or there perhaps aren’t visitations from friends or family.

The best part of the job

It’s very endearing when you go back and see patients that you saw two weeks ago and can sense a difference in their talkativeness or their willingness to interact within the group, that’s really satisfying.