PHA UK founder shortlisted for prestigious nursing award

Posted on February 12th 2020

PRESS RELEASE: PHA UK co-founder Iain Armstrong has been shortlisted for a prestigious national nursing award.

Iain, who helped set up the charity 20 years ago, is up for ‘Respiratory Nurse of the Year’ at the British Journal of Nursing (BJN) Awards.

The nomination recognises his work with the charity and in his role as nurse consultant within the Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital.

The BJN Awards aim to showcase nursing excellence, highlighting the critical contribution that nurses make to healthcare. The winners will be announced at a glittering ceremony in London on 20 March.

Iain co-founded the PHA UK 20 years ago to support people living with pulmonary hypertension (PH), a serious lung disease which also affects the heart. The charity works across the UK and has over 4,500 members.

Iain has worked within the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for 30 years and in 2005 became the first nurse consultant to work in pulmonary vascular disease.

He said: “It was an immense surprise to find out I was shortlisted for this award. I’ve seen lots of developments during my 30 years working in respiratory nursing and it feels brilliant to be recognised in this way.”

The Sheffield Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit is one of just eight specialist PH treatment centres in the UK.

Chris Morley, chief nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am delighted that Iain has been nominated for this award, his dedication and care for our patients over the last 30 years is certainly worthy of this recognition. He is a credit to his team and the Trust and has made a huge difference to patients with pulmonary vascular disease both here in Sheffield and nationally.”

In May 2019, Iain was awarded a Fellowship from the Royal College of Nursing in recognition of a professional career dedicated to supporting people affected by pulmonary hypertension.


Image shows Dr Iain Armstrong. (Credit: Scott Bairstow Photography)

Media contact: Mary Ferguson on 01226 766900 or at

About the PHA UK

Iain founded the PHA UK in 1999 after recognising the need for a charity to support people diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH), which affects just 7,000 people in the UK.

The organisation now has over 4,500 members and as well as providing information, support and advice, it funds medical research and health education initiatives to promote better awareness, diagnosis and treatment of PH.

The PHA UK is based in Chapeltown, Sheffield. It is a registered charity no: 1120756.

About pulmonary hypertension (PH)

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare, serious condition caused by the thickening and stiffening of the blood vessels supplying the lungs (pulmonary arteries).  

The reduced blood flow makes it harder for the right side of the heart to pump blood through the arteries, which can result in heart failure.

The main symptom of PH is breathlessness. Other symptoms may include dizziness, feeling faint, swelling of the feet or ankles, and chest pain (particularly during exercise).

People can be born with PH or develop it at any time, and it can affect anyone, regardless of age or ethnic background. It affects more women than men.

Thanks to a range of highly advanced treatments developed over the last 15 years, people with pulmonary hypertension have seen quality of life improve and life expectancy double to around six to seven years on average, with many living longer. But there is no cure. A few people with PH undergo heart and lung transplants.

The seven adult specialist PH centres in the UK are within the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle; Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Glasgow; Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield; Papworth Hospital NHS Trust in Cambridgeshire; and Hammersmith Hospital, Royal Brompton Hospital and Royal Free Hospital in London.

For further information about pulmonary hypertension visit, call the PHA UK office on 01709 761450 or e-mail