Trust implements new changes to improve cardiac emergency care

10th Aug 2015

cardiology_service_smallFrom the 10th August 2015, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust will see significant new changes to the Trust’s Cardiology department. The changes include the introduction of two new state-of-the-art cardiac catheter labs and the centralisation of cardiology in-patient and interventional services at Sandwell and City Hospitals into one bespoke location at City Hospital.  

The Trust has recently opened two brand new Cardiac Catheter labs at City Hospital. The total cost of the project, including the new equipment, is over £2 million.

Chetan Varma, the Clinical Director for Cardiology, said: “We are very fortunate that the Trust has agreed to purchase the latest state of art biplane equipment. The benefits will be much improved image quality, allowing us to broaden the type of coronary interventions we undertake, ensuring that we are able to treat more patients as quickly as possible.”

“The new labs on a single site also mean the cardiac teams are working more closely together ensure safest and best practice for our patients.”

As part of the reconfiguration, the Trust is re-locating the cardiac in-patient care and interventional services, which had been delivered at Sandwell and City Hospitals, to one single site at City Hospital.  Medical Director, Roger Stedman, said: “This change will help us improve emergency treatment for heart attacks and other cardiology conditions. The location of the catheter labs and coronary care unit onto the City Hospital site provides full emergency 24 hour cover, which runs for 365 days per year with improved access times from when patients arrive at hospital needing emergency procedures until the time they receive the interventional treatment.”

“By bringing the cardiac nursing team and clinicians to one location we can improve patient access to specialist teams and deliver consistently high standards of care at all times.”

“The new changes will not affect out-patient appointments, which will still take place at City Hospital, Sandwell Hospital and Rowley Regis Community Hospital. Cardiologists will also continue to do ward rounds on both Sandwell and City Hospital sites. However, in the circumstances where a procedure is required and/or they are to be admitted to hospital either as a day case or for more than 24 hours, their treatment will be carried out at City Hospital.

“Members of the public are advised to dial 999 for emergency help if they experience symptoms related to heart problems (e.g. heart attack) that need immediate care. The West Midlands Ambulance Service will bring all patients suspected of needing urgent interventional cardiac treatment straight to the catheter labs at City Hospital.”

Dr Nick Harding, Chair of NHS Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group and local GP, said: “This is great news for local people and will deliver better care for patients with urgent heart conditions.

“Earlier this year we carried out a listening exercise to hear local people’s views on the proposals. Overall patients supported the proposals, which will deliver improved care for patients. These changes bring us one step nearer to delivering the new Midland Met Hospital in Smethwick by 2018. However, we don’t want to wait until 2018 to deliver improved care for patients, so I’m really pleased to see these improvements for cardiology patients being implemented.”

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