Posted on Friday 21st October 2011
The Cumberland Infirmary
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust is about to launch a brand new service for heart patients in Cumbria. From the end of November, patients requiring coronary angioplasty operations will be able to have these in The Heart Centre, at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.
Coronary angioplasty treats heart disease and angina and is sometimes used as an emergency treatment for people who have had a heart attack. It involves inserting a balloon to clear blocked arteries and may also involve the insertion of a ‘stent’ – a tube to hold the arteries open.
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, in a dedicated unit at the Cumberland Infirmary. 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.
Patients with heart disease benefit from quick diagnosis and treatment, therefore the availability of immediate angioplasty locally is important in avoiding delay and reducing the risk of life threatening heart attacks for patients in Cumbria. The development of this service has been a major priority for local GPs and other commissioning organisations in Cumbria. Up to 700 patients a year will benefit from the newly developed local service.
Angioplasty requires a dedicated team of experts to deliver it promptly and professionally. North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has recruited three new Consultant Intervention Cardiologists to develop the service. They are:
Dr Roger Moore, Lead Interventional Consultant Cardiologist
Dr Justin Barclay, Interventional Consultant Cardiologist
Dr Rhidian Shelton, Interventional Consultant Cardiologist
The service development also requires the construction of a specialised operating theatre with X-ray imaging equipment and a dedicated ward. The Heart Centre is currently under construction close to the main entrance of the Cumberland Infirmary and the service is scheduled to begin at the end of November 2011. It will initially be open Monday 8am to Saturday lunchtime with the operating hours then gradually extended to provide a 24 hour, 7 day a week service within 12-18 months.
Lead Interventional Consultant Cardiologist Dr Roger Moore, who has worked in Liverpool, Preston and Blackpool, said: “The new angioplasty service in The Heart Centre offers a dramatic improvement in cardiac care for the people of Cumbria allowing local access to treatments already available in other parts of the country. Cumbrian patients will have the opportunity for immediate diagnosis and treatment of coronary heart disease reducing the likelihood of heart attacks and saving lives.”
Work to bring the new modular Heart Centre unit to the Cumberland Infirmary will begin on Saturday morning (0700). A crane will be onsite to place the modular units as they arrive by lorry. Wind permitting, it is hoped that this work will be completed in a day. Whilst this work is underway, part of the road near to the turning roundabout to the main entrance and the roundabout itself will be closed. Access to the car parks and pedestrian access to the hospital will be maintained at all times. Staff will be on hand to help visitors to the site.