Sarah Clarke: Profile

Dr Sarah C Clarke MA, MD, FRCP, FESC, FACC is a full time Consultant Cardiologist and the Clinical Director for Strategic Development at Royal Papworth Hospital, Cambridge UK. She has a specialist interest in interventional cardiology with a private practice that spans general and interventional cardiology.  She is highly regarded as a national and international leader. Immediate Past President of the British Cardiovascular Society (2015 - 2018) she is a champion of high quality education, research, clinical standards and audit. A track record for delivering clinical, service (NHS and Charity) transformation ensuring efficiencies whilst improving quality and patient outcomes. In 2018 she was awarded the International Service Award by the American College Cardiology for her outstanding contribution to enhancing cardiovascular care and education throughout the world.

Training and experience

Dr Clarke studied medicine at Girton College, University of Cambridge where she obtained a BA in 1987 and MB BChir in 1989. Following junior hospital posts in the region her specialist training was undertaken at Addenbrooke’s and Papworth Hospitals. She was awarded a fellowship in interventional cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, University of Harvard, Boston, USA in 2001. Dr Clarke gained extensive experience in all aspects of interventional cardiology and vascular intervention. She was awarded her research Doctorate in Medicine (MD) in 2004, by the University of Cambridge, UK.

Dr Clarke took up a consultant post in cardiology at Papworth Hospital in 2002 and was appointed Clinical Director of Cardiac Services, Papworth Hospital in 2006. She was responsible for leading and managing both cardiology and cardiac surgery at the hospital. She developed and introduced ‘Papworth Direct’ a 1-stop NHS outpatient service and led the implementation of the heart attack service (PPCI) at Papworth rolling out across the Eastern region, reaching over 5 million people in 18 months.

In 2012, she was nominated and received the ‘Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Achievement’ at Papworth Hospital and was appointed Clinical Director for Strategic Development. Through this role she has undertaken cardiology service reviews at local Trusts to improve services. She was the clinical cardiology lead of the project management team designing the new Royal Papworth Hospital on the Cambridge Campus, opening in September 2018. The design puts the patient and patient pathway at the centre of the design. In 2016 she was appointed Cardiology lead of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough System Transformation Programme (STP) to deliver cost effective, evidence based clinical pathways reducing variation between Trusts.

For over 18 years, Dr Clarke has been involved in the British Cardiovascular Society, the oldest cardiac society in the world and with over 12000 members. She was elected the first female Officer of the Society in 2011. As Vice President Education and Research she developed an education portfolio for allied healthcare professionals, trainees and consultant cardiologists and rejuvenated the Annual Conference.

In 2014, Dr Clarke was elected and became the first female President of the Society (2015-2018) and led an internal transformation programme (re-structure, governance, human resource, finance, membership, communication and digital) to ensure a sustainable Society for its members in the future. She worked with key stakeholders including the Royal College of Physicians (London) where she was a member of Council, NHS England and the British heart Foundation. In 2017 she was appointed Joint National Lead (cardiology) for the GIRFT ‘Getting It Right First Time’ programme, a government initiative to reduce unwarranted variation whilst ensuring high quality cost effective services in Trusts and across systems. She will visit every cardiology unit in the country over the next year and write a report for the Secretary of State.

Dr Clarke was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London) in 2006 and a Fellow at the European Society Cardiology (FESC) in 2011.

She was elected by the Fellowship to the Board of the ESC (2016 – 2018). She chairs the e-communications committee and is responsible for communications to Fellows and the website. In 2018 she was awarded a scholarship to attend the ‘Women Transforming Leadership’ programme at the Said Business School in Oxford.

In 2012, Dr Clarke was elected a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC) and was elected to the ‘Women in Cardiology Leadership Council’ representing female cardiologists across the globe. She was appointed European representative on the Association of International Governors of the ACC in 2017. In 2018 she signed a memorandum of understanding between the Virginia Chapter of the ACC and the British Cardiovascular Society to promote educational exchange for healthcare professionals internationally. In 2018 she was awarded the ACC International Service Award by the President of the ACC for her leadership internationally and outstanding contribution to enhancing cardiovascular care and education throughout the world.

Clinical interests

Dr Clarke is an experienced cardiologist and sees adult patients with cardiac problems. She has a subspecialty interest in interventional cardiology-coronary intervention and she is one of the most experienced operators in this area in the UK having performed up to 750 cases per year, with a success rate higher than 98%.

Dr Clarke is experienced in the use of advanced interventional devices to treat complex coronary lesions or narrowings including rotablation for heavily calcified (hardened) lesions, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) for evaluation of coronary narrowings, pressure wire for assessment of the significance of a coronary narrowing, and devices designed to cross chronically occluded or blocked arteries. She is a proctor for rotablation training for the British Cardiovascular Intervention Society.

As well as being an experienced interventional cardiologist, Dr Clarke also has extensive general cardiology experience. She developed and introduced Papworth Direct  a rapid access diagnostic service in the NHS sector and has been involved regionally and nationally in audit and clinical pathway design focussing on the patient to ensure high quality, cost effective care.
Dr Clarke is a member of several advisory boards for the cardiovascular industry and is also the Book Editor for Cardiology News, a cardiology journal.

All this experience extends into Dr Clarke’s private practice where she consults for all aspects of general cardiology (including chest pain, murmurs and valvular disease, palpitation, dizziness and blackout, shortness of breath, heart failure and hypertension or high blood pressure) as well as offering interventional procedures (coronary angiography and coronary intervention) including advanced techniques for complex coronary lesions.

Research interests

Dr Clarke’s research thesis (2004) assessed the effects of hormones on biochemical risk factors (such as cholesterol and other markers of coronary artery disease in the blood) and endothelial function (artery wall behaviour) in men and women with coronary artery disease.

Currently, her main areas of research are in the interventional field, particularly relating to novel stents, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and pressure-wire assessment of various coronary narrowings.

At the British Cardiovascular Society, Dr Clarke has promoted the development of a national clinical cardiovascular research centre to facilitate patients participating in valuable research.

I specialise in...

  • Chest pain, angina
  • Murmurs and valvular disease
  • Palpitation, arrhythmia
  • Dizziness and blackout
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart failure
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Coronary angiography
  • Interventional cardiology

Professional details

Qualifications

MA, MD, FRCP, FESC, FACC.

Qualified in 1989 in United Kingdom

Registrations and licensing

  • General Medical Council (GMC)

    Registration no.: 3331406
    Date of registration: 12-Feb-1991

    Check registration

Memberships and associations

Sarah Clarke is a member of the following professional associations and organisations...

Languages spoken

  • English

Latest news

GIRFT appoint Dr Sarah Clarke as joint clinical lead

Dr Sarah Clarke was recently recognised for her outstanding work and contributions to the cardiovascular profession

Dr Sarah Clarke has recently finished her 3 year tenure as President of the British Cardiovascular Society.