Back to top

ARC EM researcher sees off international competition to win prestigious award for heart failure study

A researcher from Leicester who led a ground-breaking study into hospital readmission rates of people with heart failure has won an international award. 

Dr Claire Lawson, a lecturer at the University of Leicester, was the lead author of a comprehensive study, which found that, despite efforts to reduce the number of people having to return to hospital following heart failure, readmission rates have actually increased in the last 16 years.

Now her research has received international recognition after she received the Nursing Investigator award at the recent Heart Failure Congress, held by the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology.

Attended by 8,000 delegates, the three-day event also featured the readmissions study as part of its closing highlights.

Dr Lawson, an Advanced NIHR Fellow with ARC East Midlands, said: “I was delighted to receive the Nursing Investigator award, and am honoured to receive recognition from the European Heart Failure Association.

“I’m particularly pleased that the award will raise the profile of our findings, which will help to inform future programmes aimed at reducing the number of people with heart failure who end up back in hospital.” 

The background to the study was the need to reduce the high patient and economic burden of early readmissions of people who have previously been in hospital for heart failure, something which has become a priority in health policy in recent years. 

In collaboration with researchers from ARC West Midlands, the team examined the trends among different population groups who were readmitted within 30 days. With readmission rates increasing by 1.4% per year over 16 years, the report highlighted that the least affluent and ethnic minority groups are most affected. 

With recommendations on how to improve current programmes trying to prevent readmissions, the study paves the way for improving patient outcomes.

Earlier this year, Dr Lawson was selected for the European Heart Failure Association’s Surveys, Registries and Epidemiology Committee, where she will work collaboratively to understand the global health problem of heart failure.

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, who is the Director of NIHR ARC East Midlands and Professor of Primary Care Diabetes and Vascular Medicine at the University of Leicester, said: “This thoroughly deserved award demonstrates just how important the findings of this study were – the trends identified by our research group led by Dr Lawson and will help to shape future policy and improve patient outcomes.” 

To access the study titled ‘Trends in 30-day readmissions following hospitalisation for heart failure by sex, socioeconomic status and ethnicity’, click here.

Published on: 27 Jul 2021