Dr Rodney Franklin is the focus of our third in a planned series of interviews in Cardiology in the Young entitled, “Global Leadership in Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Care.” Dr Franklin was born in London, England, spending the early part of his childhood in the United States of America before coming back to England. He then attended University College London Medical School and University College Hospital in London, England, graduating in 1979. Dr Franklin would then go on to complete his general and neonatal paediatrics training in 1983 at Northwick Park Hospital and University College Hospital in London, England, followed by completing his paediatric cardiology training in 1989 at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, England. During this training, he additionally would hold the position of British Heart Foundation Junior Research Fellow from 1987 to 1989. Dr Franklin would then complete his training in 1990 as a Senior Registrar and subsequent Consultant in Paediatric and Fetal Cardiology at Wilhelmina Sick Children’s Hospital in Utrecht, the Netherlands. He subsequently obtained his research doctorate at University of London in 1997, consisting of a retrospective audit of 428 infants with functionally univentricular hearts.
Dr Franklin has spent his entire career as a Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist at the Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, being appointed in 1991. He additionally holds honorary Consultant Paediatric Cardiology positions at Hillingdon Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, and Lister Hospital in the United Kingdom, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College, London. He has been the Clinical Lead of the National Congenital Heart Disease Audit (2013–2020), which promotes data collection within specialist paediatric centres. Dr Franklin has been a leading figure in the efforts towards creating international, pan European, and national coding systems within the multidisciplinary field of congenital cardiac care. These initiatives include but are not limited to the development and maintenance of The International Paediatric & Congenital Cardiac Code and the related International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision for CHD and related acquired terms and definitions. This article presents our interview with Dr Franklin, an interview that covers his experience in developing these important coding systems and consensus nomenclature to both improve communication and the outcomes of patients. We additionally discuss his experience in the development and implementation of strategies to assess the quality of paediatric and congenital cardiac care and publicly report outcomes.