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Aortic Specialist Nurse to join aortic dissection patient charity

Posted on 19th May 2024

Award-winning national patient charity Aortic Dissection Awareness UK & Ireland has announced that Emma Hope will join the charity as its Aortic Specialist Nurse in September, after she retires from her role at Southampton General Hospital.

Emma Hope sitting on a chair in her aortic nurse uniform
Emma Hope - Specialist Aortic Nurse


Emma was the UK’s first Aortic Specialist Nurse, pioneering at Southampton General Hospital a service that is loved by patients and valued by the clinicians who make up the multidisciplinary Aortic team. Encouraged by the national patient charity, other specialist Aortic centres have followed Southampton’s lead and appointed their own Aortic Specialist Nurses.

Gareth Owens, Chair of Trustees at the national patient charity said: “Since Emma demonstrated the value for Southampton patients, having an Aortic Specialist Nurse service has become for us one of the hallmarks of an excellent specialist Aortic centre. However, we need to do something for our patient members who are under the care of hospitals that currently do not provide such a service”.

After Emma retires from 41 years of nursing at Southampton General Hospital, she will join the national patient charity as its first Aortic Specialist Nurse. In this new role, Emma will run a virtual clinic one day a week for the charity’s 1,200+ patient members; provide professional expertise to the leaders of the charity’s “AD Buddies” patient support group together with the Medical Advisors; maintain strong working relationships with other Aortic Specialist Nurses working in the NHS; and help Aortic centres that want to appoint their own Aortic Specialist Nurses to define the role and set-up their services.

Emma says “Being the UK’s first Aortic Specialist Nurse has been the pinnacle of my career. I love working with Aortic patients and have been involved with the wonderful AD Awareness UK & Ireland national patient charity for some years now. When the opportunity arose to join the charity and continue my work with patients part-time in retirement, I jumped at the chance.

Emma will begin her new role at the charity’s annual national conference - Aortic Dissection Awareness Day UK - on 19th September, which this year is hosted by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. 

Bridget Lawrence, one of the charity’s AD Buddy Group Administrators, who is a nurse herself and cares for her husband, a Type A Aortic Dissection survivor, said: “Emma is a fount of knowledge on all things Aortic and patients love her. We are delighted that she is joining the charity as our first Aortic Specialist Nurse and I look forward to welcoming her to the team.

Aortic Specialist Nurse to join aortic dissection patient charity
Aortic Specialist Nurse to join aortic dissection patient charity