Meet the team
Professor William Toff - Director
I am Professor of Cardiology at the University of Leicester with an honorary clinical appointment in the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. I am co-founder and Co-Director of the Heartwize Resuscitation Training Programme. I am jointly responsible for the strategic development of the programme and all aspects of its delivery.
My clinical and research interests are in cardiac rhythm management, community resuscitation and health technology assessment. I previously served for many years as Assistant District Surgeon for St John Ambulance in London. In that role, I trained lay volunteers in resuscitation skills and provided basic and advanced life support in the community at major public and sporting events and on state occasions. I am a member of the national Community Resuscitation Steering Group and the Resuscitation Council (UK).
Dr Doug Skehan - Director
I am a Consultant Cardiologist at Glenfield Hospital, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, and Co-Director of the Heartwize Resuscitation Training Programme.
After training appointments in London, I started as a consultant at Groby Road Hospital in 1989, with many dramatic cardiac developments emerging in all aspects of cardiology - pump, plumbing and electrics! Within a year I treated a survivor of cardiac arrest with an implantable defibrillator and introduced radiofrequency ablation for other rhythm disorders.
I look back with some pride that I have contributed to and led an expanded and sophisticated clinical department. I also had senior management roles in Leicester and for the East Midlands Network for some 20 years.
Alongside professional duty I have a busy family life with 4 children and now 5 grandchildren and a sports background previously a decent footballer (until age 37) and have average golf (handicap 18) and running up to marathon distance.
Now approaching retirement and free from management duties, the Heartwize programme provides a way to stimulate a volunteer ethic to help address the poor outcome for victims of cardiac arrest out of hospital. Creating a generation of young lifesavers is the aim!
Julie Young - Programme Coordinator
As Heartwize Programme Coordinator, I deal with the day to day running of the organisation, and the planning and coordination of school and community training.
We all know someone who has been touched by the tragedy of a cardiac arrest. For me personally, I lost my mother (51) and a very close school friend (14). My partner lost his wife (33) and his father (38). Of course, there is no way to know if early CPR intervention could have changed the outcome in any of these cases, although evidence strongly suggests that quick action and knowing what to do greatly improves survival rates.
My role with Heartwize is extremely varied and challenging, it requires a great deal of dedication and flexibility. I believe that you get back what you put in to life so I take great pride in doing something positive that has the potential to save thousands of lives. I feel fortunate to have the job satisfaction of knowing I have played an integral role in bringing CPR training into local schools and creating over 40,000 new lifesavers over the last 5 years.