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Westmorland General Hospital Cardiac Centre reopens ahead of schedule after revamp

Cath Lab team with the centre’s first patient David Goulding.

[T]he Morecambe Bay Cardiac Centre at Westmorland General Hospital (WGH), which welcomes in excess of 1,000 patients every year, reopened on Tuesday 11 July 2017 after a £1m cash injection from University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).

The investment included new specialised cardio-vascular imaging equipment and a full refurbishment of the Cardiac Catheter Lab Theatre Suite.

The centre, which was scheduled to open later this month, offers services and procedures such as:

  • Diagnostic Coronary Angiography, which involves taking a specialised x-ray to diagnose conditions such as Coronary artery disease which causes angina and as an assessment of valvular heart disease angina
  • The fitting of permanent pacemaker implants and pacemaker generator changes
  • Implantation of Cardiac Resynchronisation Therapy pacemakers (CRT-p/ Bi-Ventricular pacemakers) to support a number of patients with chronic cardiac conditions

Work started on the centre on 17 March when patient admissions temporarily relocated to Ward 2 WGH with cardiac procedures performed in a mobile Cardiac Catheter Lab near the Dunmail Entrance.

Sarah Hunter, Ward Manager. Alison Capps-Nevett, Lead Cardiac Radiographer & Clinical Project Lead. Dr Adrian Brodison, Clinical Lead Cardiology.

Alison Capps-Nevett, Lead Radiographer for Morecambe Bay Cardiac Centre, UHMBT and Clinical Project Lead for the refurbishment project said: “We are delighted to have opened ahead of schedule, which is fantastic news. I can’t thank all the key teams involved enough for their support throughout the scheme, including, of course, the Cath Lab team, who have worked consistently to provide seamlessly excellent care to our patients throughout the duration of the works. We’ve had some great feedback from patients who have received care in the mobile Cath Lab which has been really rewarding.”

“The newly installed x-ray system is one of a new generation of cardio-vascular imaging suites which provides exceptionally high quality images of the heart with the ground breaking benefit of a considerably reduced radiation dose per procedure. This is an advance of great significance for both our patients and the Cath Lab team.

“We take enormous pride in the quality of specialist care provided by our dedicated team, and this investment will further enhance the patient experience, providing assurance that the Cardiac Catheter Lab theatre suite here at UHMBT is, quite simply, of the highest specification and standard currently available.”

Dr Adrian Brodison, Clinical Lead Cardiologist, UHMBT, said, “This investment ‘future-proofs’ the Cardiac Centre for at least the next decade; it provides a huge technological leap forward from our previous unit and, as such, will allow us to explore further development of cardiac services for our patients in Morecambe Bay.”

Morecambe Bay Cardiac Centre was commissioned in early 2003 as part of a New Opportunities Fund project to increase Cardiac Catheter Lab provision nationally. It opened at WGH in April 2004, bringing a specialist service to the Kendal site. Prior to this, patients travelled to Blackpool Victoria Hospital for Cardiac Catheter Lab procedures. The number of Cardiology Consultants has increased at the Trust since 2004 from two Cardiologists, to a current total of six.

An official opening is due to take place in the next few weeks.

Foluke Ajayi, Chief Operating Officer, UHMBT, said: “The team has worked so hard to get these fantastic improvements in place which will benefit our patients for years to come. A big well done to all.”

The Mobile Cath Lab will leave WGH overnight on Monday 17 July.

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