Wigan heart doctor misses out on national award

Dr Nayyar Naqvi
Dr Nayyar Naqvi

A renowned Wigan doctor has missed out on a top award at a prestigious ceremony marking 70 years of the NHS.

Dr Nayyar Naqvi, a consultant cardiologist for Wrightington, Wigan And Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, had been shortlisted for the lifetime achievement award at the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards.

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But the winner was announced as Rose Bennett, who started working for the NHS in Portsmouth in 1971, joining her mother and aunt who had already been working as domestic assistants for a number of years. Her two daughters have also now worked for the NHS for 29 years.

The ceremony took place at the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday afternoon and was a key feature of the national celebrations organised to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS tomorrow.

Wigan's MP Lisa Nandy nominated Dr Naqvi for the honour and he was named as the regional champion, before going through to the national final.

Dr Naqvi started working at Billinge Hospital as a junior doctor in 1979 and has focused on revolutionising the way heart problems are treated.

He came across the term “Wigan heart syndrome”, which was applied to any end-stage heart failure, and made it his mission to improve the lives of patients with cardiac problems.

He set up a public fund-raising appeal in 1981, which paid for the first cardiac catheter unit at Wigan Infirmary.

Earlier this year, an extension to the unit was opened, which was funded entirely by public donations after Dr Naqvi launched an appeal.