Altnagelvin Cardiology specialist honoured

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A doctor based at Altnagelvin Hospital who has been a leading figure in the development of cardiology services has been honoured.

In a glowing tribute to his life work in the development of Cardiology care, Dr Albert McNeill has been made the President of the Irish Cardiac Society for the next two years.

This is a hugely significant role as the society is now recognised globally as a leading organisation in the development of Cardiology care and treatment.

A country man, by his own admission, Dr McNeill has worked his way from his Ballymena origins across Europe to settle in Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry where he has dedicated his career to progressing Cardiology in the West of Ireland.

Commenting on his new role, Dr McNeill said: “It is an honour to be recognised by my Cardiology peers from across Ireland, North & South.

“It really is a testimony and credit to my colleagues and I in the Western Health and Social Care Trust and our advancements in Cardiology care, especially in more rural areas. I wish to publicly thank the Irish Cardiac Society, my family and all my colleagues past and present.”

Dr McNeill will host the Annual Irish Cardiology Society meeting in October 2017 – An event that will attract leading Cardiologists from across the globe, including the President of the American Cardiology Society & the British Cardio Vascular Society President.

He will also will Chair the British/American Cardiologist Society Meeting in Washington (USA) in March 2017 - The meeting will focus on the advancement of Heart Attack Research across the world. Dr McNeill is a key figure in the development of Smoke Free Policies in Northern Ireland Health Trusts - He is co-chairman of the Trust Smokefree Board which has developed the first smokefree Trust policy in Northern Ireland.

Dr McNeill is currently the Northern Ireland elected member of Council of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and holds Fellowships of the Royal College of Physicians of London, the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the European Society of Cardiology.

He trained in general medicine and cardiology within Northern Ireland and during his time as a Royal Victoria Hospital Research Fellow he published several papers on the use of Tissue Plasminogen Activator in the treatment of acute myocardial infarction, including the use of pre-hospital thrombolytic therapy, which formed the basis of his MD thesis.

He was a British Heart Foundation, British Dutch Research Fellow in the Thorax Centre, Rotterdam where he published on stress echocardiography and developed the Dobutamine/Atropine stress echo protocol. He was appointed Consultant Cardiologist in Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry in 1992 and is currently Lead Clinician for Cardiology in the Western Health & Social Care Trust.

In his role as Lead Clinician for Cardiology he has managed the development of primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) on the Altnagelvin site, one of 2 centres providing PPCI for the province and recently managed the development of cross border PCI for Donegal patients.

Dr McNeill comes from rural County Antrim, and attended Ballymena Academy before graduating from Queen’s University, Belfast in 1982.

He is married to Frances, who is a pharmacist and has 3 children, one of whom is a junior doctor.