The founder of a Sheffield-based rare disease charity has been shortlisted for a prestigious national nursing award.

Dr Iain Armstrong, chair of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA UK) in Chapeltown, is a finalist in the ‘Innovations in your Specialty’ category of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Nursing Awards.

Iain, who also works as a nurse consultant at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, has been recognised for his work in creating ‘EmPHasis-10’ - a clinical tool that measures quality of life for people with the rare disease pulmonary hypertension.

Designed as a simple questionnaire 11 years ago, it is now used around the world to help doctors and nurses understand how patients affected by this condition are responding to treatment. The tool addresses healthcare in a more holistic way by asking questions about mental wellbeing and general health, as well as about specific symptoms of the disease.

Iain, who lives in Stocksbridge, will deliver a presentation about EmPHasis-10 to a specialist judging panel in July and the winner will be announced later next month.

He said: “It was a wonderful surprise to have been nominated for this award and to be named as a finalist is the icing on the cake. I am passionate about ensuring quality of life is prioritised for people with pulmonary hypertension - especially given the severity of symptoms that are experienced by those with this condition.”

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare disease caused by the thickening and stiffening of the blood vessels supplying the lungs. 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, with fatigue, dizziness and chest pain common too. The condition is thought to affect just 8,000 people in the UK.

Iain co-founded the Pulmonary Hypertension Association 21 years ago to support those living with the life-limiting disease, and the charity now has over 4,500 members.