New £2m cardiac suite opens at City Hospital

23rd Nov 2015

A NEW £2m state-of-the-art cardiac cath lab facility run by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust has officially opened at City Hospital.

A cath lab (catheterization laboratory) is a clinical room with diagnostic imaging equipment used to investigate what is happening in the heart and treat any abnormalities. The new cath labs replace old ones at City and Sandwell Hospitals.

The investment follows a public engagement into the reconfiguration of cardiology services at the Trust. Medical Director Dr Roger Stedman commented: “Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG led the comprehensive listening activity to ensure the public was engaged and informed of the options to reconfigure. Their help was invaluable to getting us here today to be able to offer patients such a first class facility.”

Chetan Varma, the Clinical Director for Cardiology, agreed: “It is very fortunate for our patients that we have been able to invest in the latest state-of-the-art equipment. The benefits will be much improved image quality, allowing us to broaden the type of coronary interventions we undertake, and improved turnaround of patients.

“Any patients needing the cath lab in an emergency will have a greater chance to get into the next available lab compared to having one lab per site. This improved service brings closer working for Consultant Cardiologists to ensure the safest and best practice for our patients.”

Chair of Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, Dr Nick Harding OBE said: “The opening of the new cardiac facility is fantastic news for local patients, and is part of our work with the Hospital Trust to deliver better care for Sandwell and West Birmingham.  I’m really pleased to see this level of investment, which has delivered the new state-of-the-art cardiac facility. As a GP I know how important it is that cardiac patients get fast access to consultant treatment and this new facility will make a real difference to patients.”

The ribbon was cut by recent patient Roger Devonport from Oldbury, who drove himself to Sandwell Hospital for a medical opinion on what he considered was very bad indigestion. He was actually in the midst of a heart attack which thankfully was diagnosed soon after he arrived in Sandwell A&E.

Roger said: “I am so glad that I decided to take myself off to Sandwell hospital that day, and had the first class treatment I received from both the Emergency Department and the cardiology team. They are all winners in my book.”

The facility opened in August and the first patient treated was Jyoti Mistry from Perry Barr. She said: “To me, the facility looks very modern and I had such a comfortable experience there. I went to have an angiogram to see if my stent, which was inserted in 2014, was all right. I was very relieved to hear that the team did not find anything abnormal.”

“I was very nervous before I came in as I was not sure what to expect. But Dr Leong Lee and the team were very caring and informative. They told me everything I needed to know and constantly checked on me to see I was ok. I would encourage patients to be confident when having their treatment in these new labs. The team was very professional and caring.”

And, soon after Jyoti’s treatment the new labs were put to the test as two patients had life-saving treatment at the same time when they both suffered cardiac arrests.

Mohammed Amin from Witton said: “I was amazed I had a heart attack, it was a big shock, but I don’t remember any of it. The staff have been really caring since I came round and they explained what had happened.”

While father-of-two Sunil Kumar from Wolverhampton explained: “I thought at first I’d had a bad curry as I started sweating and had a pain in my stomach. It went rapidly downhill though, to the extent that I suffered a massive heart attack and actually died in the ambulance. I am so thankful I was at work which is close to City Hospital, and was able to have immediate treatment which saved my life.”


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