Welcome to Frome Atrial Fibrillation Support Group
& AF Matters
Regular meetings provide a place and opportunity for individuals to come together to share their stories and experiences. Often, the discussion may focus on a relevant topic, thus allowing members to learn more about that particular aspect of living with AF.
Often, people with Atrial fibrillation may feel they are struggling alone, but the aim is to show that there are others who may be dealing with similar situations.
The aim of the website is to allow more people to access relevant information and activities, thereby, including them in the group. Occasionally, the material covered in the meetings is provided here for review.
Pre-COVID, face-to-face meetings would take place at Frome Medical Practice.
At present we have online sessions, which means we can welcome those from out of the area.
About AF Support Group
As a Cardiac Physiologist, I meet people every day who have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF). It seems to me that a lot of AF patients have very little knowledge and understanding of this common heart rhythm disturbance.
I hope to improve that for group members.
I have over 30 years of experience in the field of Cardiology , however, I don't know what it's like to have AF myself. This is why I decided to set up the Frome AF Support group. Hopefully, members will learn from each other and this will provide them with the support they may need.
As the group's facilitator, I believe my thoughtful and personalised approach will ensure you receive the best care possible. I understand how to work with patients and am fully committed to the health and well-being of all members.
Helen Hodgson - Highly Specialist Cardiac Physiologist
I always knew I wanted a career in health, especially after volunteering at my local hospital in Wigan, Lancashire. This led me to successfully applying for my first post, in 1987, as a student in the Cardio-Respiratory Department. I qualified there in 1990 after studying at Salford University in Machester and worked at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan for a total of five years.
I was offered a promotion at Bury General Hospital and then enrolled on a higher level specialist course at the John Dalton College of Manchester Metropolitan University.
A year later I joined the Cardiac Centre at the Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath and continued the studying at North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT) . Following on from this, I was offered an opportunity to gain a degree at Westminster College, which I was awarded in 2002.
I have gained experience in many aspects of diagnostic Cardiology, Cardiac Rehabilitation, community & Heart Failure Echo services, ECG training and mentoring Healthcare Science students. I also work as an Honorary Lecturer at the University of West of England (UWE) .
Additional freelance clinical work provides me with the invaluable benefit of collaborating with new teams and exposure to varying patient demographics.
Since I became interested in Atrial Fibrillation, as well as setting up the AF Support Group, I have delivered talks for Health Coaches, set up awareness events, and become a faculty member for the Atrial Fibrillation Association's Patient Day conference.
More recently, I joined the NHS England AF Expert Advisory Group.
Day to day I spend the majority of my time performing Echocardiograms, supporting trainees and I am proud to be one of the Mental Health First Aiders for the Trust, as well as being part of a new Kindness & Civility project here at the RUH in Bath.
I continue to gain a great deal of enjoyment and satisfaction each day and feel that my job is a big part of who I am on a personal level.