About Us

What is the Sutton ICD Support Group?

It is a group which was formed by people who have an ICD, to support fellow patients in the Sutton Coldfield (and wider West Midlands) area who find themselves having to have an ICD device fitted.  We will tell you about ICDs on another page (see tab above). 

The group is affiliated to the national organisation Arrhythmia Alliance  (www.heartrhythmcharity.org.uk).

The Group is not only for ICD patients; it is for their families, friends and carers too.  Anybody can join.

Our aim is to help educate ourselves, our GPs, our employers, and many others, and to minimise prejudices brought about by being fitted with an ICD.

One of the most important functions of the group is mutual support - helping one another to regain and maintain confidence (we'll explain why confidence is lost on the ICD page - see tab above).  

We do that by putting ICD users in touch with each other and by holding meetings for the whole group. 

We usually meet 3 or 4 times a year (but not during the dark and cold winter months), usually in the evening (for a couple of hours, over tea and coffee), usually in a room at Good Hope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield.  Often we have invited (expert) speakers who talk to us, quite informally and at our level, on issues of concern or topics of ICD interest.  These talks always lead on to a free flowing question and answer and discussion session which everybody finds very helpful and reassuring.  We'll tell you all about our next meeting on the "Next meeting" tab above - where you will also find directions to the meeting room.

With help from colleagues in Scotland (IDAS - the Implanted Defibrillator Association of Scotland) we have also produced a series of helpful notes for new defibrillator patients - on ICDs and what having one means for patients; what it means for family & friends; first aid; driving; holidays; and an ICD user's checklist.  These have been included on the tabs above too.

Who are the key contacts who form the "we" of the Sutton ICD Group?

Our Chairman is Bill Pontin - a manager of the cargo business of a national airline (who flies abroad regularly), who was fitted with an ICD at Good Hope Hospital in 2008.

He is assisted by Ken Pugh - a retired environmental scientist who was fitted with a pacemaker in 2004, and had that upgraded to an ICD in 2005, all in Aberdeen.  Having moved back into the Midlands, he has had his ICD replaced, when the battery ran down, in 2009, 2013 and again in 2018, at the Queen Elizabeth (QE) Hospital in Birmingham.  In May 2012 he had catheter ablation therapy to manage excessive ectopic heart beats, with a second similar procedure in 2014, again at the QE.

Bill and Ken are very well supported by the ICD professionals at Good Hope Hospital, who care for many of us in the routine follow-up clinics, as well as by the consultants who do the ICD implanting and give up their time to come and speak to us.

Neil Ball is the Heart Failure Nurse Specialist at Good Hope Hospital.

They attend our meetings regularly and enthusiastically, and we are grateful to them and their managers for making facilities available to us at Good Hope Hospital.

All are willing to be contacted to provide more information about the group and try to answer any questions you may have. 

Their email addresses are:

Bill Pontin:                   billthecastle39@gmail.com             Tel:  01827 286913
Ken Pugh:                   pughk1@msn.com                          Tel:  0121 707 3751
Neil Ball:                      neil.ball@heartofengland.nhs.uk

How do you join the Group? 

You just turn up (on your own or with a friend or relative if you wish) at the next meeting (see the tab above), sit down and enjoy the evening, and you will soon find out who we are, and we will ask you (privately) who you are!  And you will be very welcome.  We can then put your name on our mailing list, and you've joined.  And its free - there's no subscription! 

Please now explore the site; we hope you find it helpful.

Whilst the Sutton ICD Support Group makes every effort to ensure accurate information,

we disclaim any legal responsibility for actions as a result of the contents of this page.