Patrick Doherty
Professor of Cardiovascular Health



Professor Patrick Doherty is Chair of Cardiovascular Health in the Department of Health Sciences and Director of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation (NACR). Patrick was former president of the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (BACPR) and former Chair of the Cardiac Rehabilitation Section of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC). He continues to be highly research active in the area of cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation with over 100 peer reviewed journal papers in the last ten years, six co-authored European position papers alongside five British and European clinical guidelines.

In his senior academic leadership roles Professor Doherty is utilising his extensive experience in the assessment of research quality to inform Research Excellence Framework (REF) and department wide research grant submissions. In his role as Chair of the Research Committee and departmental lead for research (January 2014 to date) the department has substantially increased annual research income to over £9 million in 2018/19.

Patrick’s commitment to cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation led to his appointment as NHS Clinical Lead for Cardiac Rehabilitation where he supported service innovation in the NHS and led the development of an evidence-based clinical pathway (Department of Health Cardiac Rehabilitation Commissioning Pack) which is presently being used in the UK. His research is influencing clinical practice through improvements in uptake and the quality of cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation services. Patrick has developed a chair based exercise programme that formed an integral part of a successful NIHR funded programme grant (REACH-HF) published in 2018. Patrick is part of three separate five year NIHR programme grants investigating comprehensive rehab and exercise interventions for patients with (1) cardiovascular disease (2) cancer and (3) mental health conditions.

Patrick's research and academic supervision has supported 15 PhD students (10 international) to success with many continuing into post-doctoral collaborative research. He continues to supervise national and international research students in the area of cardiovascular health, physical activity improvement, exercise prescription and patient self-management interventions.



Patrick's research interests are in cardiac rehabilitation, cardiovascular disease prevention and exercise.


  • Saddiqi N; Hewitt C; Shiers D; Kellar I; Boehnke J; Taylor J; Watson J; Osborn D; Doherty P; Coventry P; Ajjan R; Holt R; Alderson S; Ali S; Gilbody S; Long S; Parrott S. Developing and evaluating a diabetes self-management intervention for people with severe mental illness: The DIAMONDS programme - NIHR Programme Grant 2018-2023. Awarded: £2,800,000
  • Doherty P. Lead for a British Heart Foundation (BHF) Research Grant (R18748NACR) 2017-2019: Transforming the delivery of and outcomes from CR services for the benefit of patients with CVD. (£399,548)
  • Strategic Initiative Funded (SIF) Project grant (A0136211): Led by Doherty P in collaboration with Obsidian Health LTD. Online information technologies to improve uptake to rehab services (£25,000)
  • British Heart Foundation (BHF) Research Grant, March 2015 for two years: a new approach to national audit reporting and registry based research for cardiac rehabilitation services in the UK (£453,000).
  • External Engagement Award to help drive research impact. University of York (Competitive award) to Professor Doherty August 2014 (£24,842).
  • Janssen Healthcare Innovation award to help model innovative approaches to observatory data analysis and presentation using the NACR (£70,125). 2014-2016.
  • The Cardiac Rehabilitation Outcome Study (CROS). Bernhard Rauch, Patrick Doherty, Jean-Paul Schmid, Heinz Völler, Massimo Piepoli, Costas Davos, Katrin Jensen, Daniel Saure, Maria-Inti Metzendorf. The prognostic effect of cardiac rehabilitation in the era of acute revascularization and statin therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized and non-randomized studies. PROSPERO 2014:CRD42014007084
  • Prof Doherty is a co-investigator REACH-HF research team. REACH-HF is an independent research programme funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research scheme (Reference Number RP-PG-1210-12004). The REACH-HF research team is led by Dr Hayes Dalal, from the Royal Cornwall Hospital, and Professor Rod Taylor, from the University of Exeter Medical School, and aims to develop a home-based self management programme for patients with heart failure. Five year programme grant of £1,995,386. Programme started in December 2012.  
  • Co-researcher and PhD supervisor on the CopenHeart project a collaboration with the University of Copenhagen.
  • Post-doctoral research (2013) with former PhD student now based in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).  Chair based exercise home programme evaluation with Dr Nor Afifi Razaob, from the Faculty of Health Sciences, National University of Malaysia.
  • University of Heidelberg PhD supervision with co-supervisor Dr Geraldine Rauch investigating mortality trends in cardiology and after rehabilitation.

Research group(s)

Available PhD research projects

Patrick would welcome PhD projects on observational research using large databases. His group hosts the largest cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation database in Europe and would welcome interest from PhD students who wish to become part of our established research team which has over twelve successful PhD completions. The aim of this project is to identify top performing rehab programmes delivered in routine practice and develop meaningful ways of presenting patient outcomes at local hospital level. Patrick would also be interested in supervising PhDs in the following areas: Cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation; patient self-management approaches in chronic disease.

This research group supports a range of methods including RCTs, systematic reviews and observational research using large databases. 

There is no direct funding for PhD students as part of this project but the team will commit time and expertise to support the candidate to completion of their PhD.


Present postgraduate researchers/students

  • Serdar Sever: Determinants of cardiac rehabilitation utilisation and outcome in patients with depression
  • Jenny Sumner: Exploring the delivery of rehabilitation services and its impact on the patient experience and clinical outcomes. Are clinical outcomes determined by the timing of cardiac rehabilitation?
  • Jassas Alotaibi: The development and evaluation of a physical activity measure in cardiac rehabilitation.
  • Ahmad Salman: Evaluation of cardiac rehabilitation programme performance.
  • Gill Bromby: Feasibility of a chair based exercise approach in the elderly heart failure population.




Other teaching


Full publications list

External activities


Editorial duties

  • Journal Reviewer for Physiotherapy Journal, Clinical rehabilitation,  British Journal of Cardiology, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, European Heart Journal, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology
  • Grant reviewer for Heart Care UK, British Heart foundation, British Association for Cardiac Rehabilitation research awards, Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Cardiac Rehabilitation, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, Canada, Health Research Board, Ireland

Invited talks and conferences

  • Keynote presentation at the Northern England Clinical Networks Conference: Cardiovascular Rehabilitation in Heart Failure, May 2014.
  • Evidence base for exercise based cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiology Review Course: Mayo Clinic, Royal College of Physicians, London, March 2014.
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Audit: Rationale, process and outcomes. Nyborg, Denmark, May 2013.  
  • Risk and beneficial effects of strength training on the cardiovascular system. European Society of Cardiology. EuroPrevent Conference, Rome, Italy, April 2013. 
  • Exercise testing: arm and leg ergometry and the six minute walk test. European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, Berne, Switzerland, September 2012. 
  • Is cardiac rehabilitation effective as delivered in the NHS? Imperial College London, 3rd July 2012.
  • The National Audit of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Great Britain – a Model for Europe? German Society for Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation (DGPR), Berlin, June 16th 2012 
  • How can patients share their experiences to promote better and more sustained lifestyle changes? Heart Care Partnership (UK), British Cardiovascular Society Annual Conference Manchester, 28-30 May 2012.
  • Evidence base for exercise based cardiac rehabilitation. Cardiology Review Course: Mayo Clinic, Royal College of Physicians, London, March 2012.
  • BACPR Conference. Impact of the Commissioning Pack for Cardiac Rehab, Brighton, UK, September 2011.
  • Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Congress. Putting the case for physiotherapy in the new GP commissioning agenda: a cardiac rehabilitation case study. Liverpool, UK, September 2011. 
  • Putting prevention first – the professional challenges. National audit of cardiac rehabilitation – how close are we to the standards? Imperial College London, 30th June 2011. 
  • Heart and Stroke Network Conference “The art of repairing broken hearts” April 2011, Staff, UK. 
  • Europrevent Conference. Global challenges in cardiac rehabilitation: women, minorities, aging, long term compliance, Geneva, April 2011. 
  • 1. Exercise testing and prescription in cardiac rehabilitation. 2. Overcoming barriers to rehabilitation. 3. Clinical evidence based workshop. 6th Cardiovascular Congress, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, December 2010.
  • Exercise testing and exercise prescription, European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, Berne, Switzerland, October 2010.
  • Commissioning a modern Cardiac Rehabilitation Service, Cardiology Review Course: Mayo Clinic, London, March 2010.
  • La dolce vita: What every cardiologist needs to know about physical activity. European Society of Cardiology, Barcelona, August 2009.
  • Heart Failure Rehabilitation Approaches, British Cardiovascular Society Scientific Conference, June 2009.
  • CR and prevention: in conflict or just not aligned? Euro Prevent Congress, Stockholm, Spring 2009.
  • Exercise and Arrhythmia: a safe and pragmatic approach, British Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation National Conference, Belfast, 2006. 

Patrick Doherty

Contact details

Prof. Patrick Doherty
Professor of Cardiovascular Health and Deputy Head of Department (Research)

Tel: 01904 32(1385)