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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > New heart centre opens its doors to patients

New heart centre opens its doors to patients

Posted on Friday 2nd December 2011

Richard Bright

The first patients were treated in the new Heart Centre at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary on Monday 28 November. People with heart disease will now be able to have coronary angioplasty operations locally following the development of this new service which will benefit over 700 patients each year in north Cumbria.

A specialised operating theatre with X-ray imaging equipment and a hospital ward have been provided in a dedicated unit at the front of the hospital. The unit was created by HTGL Architects and the diagnostic laboratory was provided by InHealth.

The Heart Centre’s first patient was 65 year-old Richard Bright from Kirkby Stephen who was admitted for an angiogram. Richard said: “I didn’t know I was going to be the first patient in The Heart Centre. The staff have been marvellous, really helpful and pleasant. Obviously I would rather not be in hospital, but if you have to be then this is a good place to be.”

Richard was given the good news that he will not need to return for any further procedures. He was extremely impressed that his total referral time from first attending his GP has been less than eight weeks. He said: “It is amazing that I have had my procedure so quickly. Most people in the world would dream of having medical treatment as good as this has been.”

Nancy Rumney from Aspatria also attended The Heart Centre yesterday for an angiogram. The 61 year-old was amazed at how quickly the centre had been transformed. She said: “I was at the Infirmary two weeks ago for a pre-assessment and I was joking that the door wasn’t on the centre yet - it has progressed so quickly. The centre is beautiful and the staff have been so friendly and caring today.”

Like Richard, Nancy was impressed with her short referral time of only six weeks. She said: “I didn’t think I would have the procedure done before Christmas, it’s fantastic. I think patients will find it much less daunting coming to a welcoming place like this on their doorstep rather than having to travel further afield.”

Trust staff have been hard at work for more than a year, putting the groundwork in place to offer this new service in Cumbria for the first time. Prior to the introduction of the new service, angina and heart attack patients underwent assessments at the Cumberland Infirmary or West Cumberland Hospital, and then were transferred to Newcastle, Middlesborough or Blackpool hospitals for further treatment.

A dedicated team of highly experienced clinical and nursing staff is being provided at the centre, including:

  •  Dr Roger Moore, Lead Intervention Consultant Cardiologist
  •  Dr Justin Barclay, Intervention Consultant Cardiologist
  •  Dr Rhidian Shelton, Interventional Consultant Cardiologist
  •  Caroline Shaw, Lead Nurse

The service will initially be provided Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm with the operating hours then gradually extended to provide a 24 hour, 7 day a week service within 12 months. The first angioplasty will be performed in The Heart Centre on Monday 5 December.