The award recognises Dr Rowland’s distinguished cardiology career in which he has helped increase understanding of heart rhythm disorders and raised awareness amongst both patients and professionals.
Also known as arrhythmia, more than two million people a year in the UK are affected by the condition where the heart can beat too fast, too slowly, or with an irregular rhythm.
Certain types of arrhythmia occur in people with severe heart conditions and it can cause sudden cardiac death. This kills around 100,000 people in the UK every year.
Most people can lead a normal life, if it is properly diagnosed.
A founder member of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), Dr Rowland served as President of Heart Rhythm UK (now the British Heart Rhythm Society). In 2012, he was appointed co-chair of the joint collaborative panel to design and establish the Barts Heart Centre, the largest cardiovascular centre in the UK.
Since 2015, he has served as medical director of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, part of Barts Health NHS Trust.
Arrhythmia Alliance is a coalition of charities, patients, carers and healthcare professionals. It works to improve diagnosis, treatment and quality of life for people affected by heart rhythm problems.
Its President, Professor John Camm, said: “Dr Rowland has been a fundamental part of the Alliance, particularly during his time as President of the British Heart Rhythm Society, where he worked very closely with the charity.
“He also played an important role in writing the initial chapter of the National Service Framework for Arrhythmias and Sudden Cardiac Death.
“Both a skilful physician and an impressive educator, Dr Rowland is a worthy recipient of this award, and I’m delighted that to present it to him, albeit virtually.”
Dr Rowland said: “It is a great honour to receive this award and I can assure it will be very treasured because it comes from colleagues in a field that it has been an enormous privilege to work in.
“There are two parts of my career that brought me immense pride: one is working with the multiprofessional team that makes up the British Heart Rhythm Society, and the other is working with Arrhythmia Alliance to make outstanding patient care central to everything we do.
“It is a great privilege to receive this award, and I hope we will be able to meet again in person before too long.”
St Bartholomew’s Hospital chief executive Professor Charles Knight said: “Edward’s role in our understanding of cardiac rhythm disorders cannot be understated and has made a huge difference to patient care.
“He is a worthy recipient of the lifetime achievement award and we are very proud and fortunate to have him at St Bartholomew’s.”
The award ceremony took place as part of the Arrhythmia Alliance Heart Rhythm Congress 2020, a virtual event attended by more than 4,000 professionals.