Helder Pereira, Directorate Manager for Cardiac Services, shares how he works with his team to help grow and develop Cromwell Hospital’s cardiac services for the benefit of patients and staff.

Please tell us about your role as Directorate Manager for Cardiac Services.

I lead the Cardiac and Angiography hybrid services, ensuring outstanding services to operators and patients. In addition, I set the strategic direction, develop and execute plans to grow, and develop the cardiac services within the Cromwell Hospital strategy, continuously improving performance. I do this through providing leadership and clinical direction for a highly specialised clinical workforce, ensuring compliance with appropriate regulatory, governance, and best practice frameworks, and co-ordinating and maintaining the delivery of 24-hour safe clinical quality and care standards.

My clinical background is in cardiac science, and I specialised in Cardiac Physiology through an MSc and a PhD focussing on Cardiac Rhythm Management Devices.

What inspired you to take on the role of Directorate Manager at Cromwell Hospital?  

I very quickly understood at the beginning of my career that alone you could not drive change or improvement. I feel that we all made a conscious decision to make healthcare our career because we love what we do, and we love to support people. Many clinical and operational departments are involved in delivering the cardiac services pathway. As such, providing strong visible leadership in partnership with your peer group across the Hospital was an extremely attractive move for me, where we could enhance our power of response to our cardiology patients by offering a better connective flow between different areas of cardiac specialism.

What does a typical day look like for you as Directorate Manager for Cardiac Services?

I establish effective two-way communication channels between the cardiac service and users. This includes our patients and operating consultants with whom I work closely to support the relationship management of new and existing service users. To maintain this continuous action, I balance the patient needs and the needs of my team, ensuring a culture where staff feel empowered and accountable for service improvement at a local level.

How does your role support patients and staff at Cromwell Hospital?

My role creates a map of expertise influence within our strong network of cardiac specialisms, where patients would not be necessarily discharged for an investigation that has been proven negative. Instead, they are embedded in a sophisticated system where concerns and symptoms are continued to be investigated. In addition, leading forums like our Heart MDT and Cardiac Services Group ensure that good practice is rapidly shared within the services and broader organisation where appropriate.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Although my role is demanding, I am listened to, and I was given a unique opportunity to build a fantastic team, allowing me the flexibility to be the leader I aspire to be, simultaneously being the son, husband and dad, I want to be.