HEALTH chiefs say heart patients in South Tyneside are benefiting from a £1.1m investment which is reducing waiting times.
A refurbished laboratory at South Tyneside District Hospital, in South Shields, now contains the very latest imaging and monitoring equipment, some of which is being used for the first time anywhere in the UK.
This facility allows us to perform procedures promptly, effectively and safely.Dr Mickey Jachuck, consultant cardiologist
The lab is used predominantly for the investigation and treatment of patients with cardiac disease but, also, for some radiology procedures.
Now all cardiac procedures can be carried out in the same place, which helps cut waiting times.
Consultant cardiologist Dr Mickey Jachuck said: “Since the previous lab was installed over 10 years ago, we have seen a dramatic change in the way that patients with heart disease are assessed and managed, with a major rise in the numbers of those with suspected angina requiring tests such as coronary angiography.
“In addition to this, for patients who are admitted with a suspected heart attack, there has been greater emphasis on ensuring that they receive appropriate interventional tests and treatment as soon as possible.
“This facility allows us to perform these procedures promptly, effectively and safely.
“We have also seen a steady growth over the years in the numbers of patients requiring invasive cardiac treatments, such as pacemakers.
“These have previously been performed in operating theatres, but can now be performed in the new lab.
“This means all cardiac procedures can be done in the same place, which, in turn, allows us to work more efficiently and reduces the time patients spend waiting.”
Dr Jachuck said the new facility is also capable of supporting potential future developments, ensuring patients have access to the best investigations and treatments for at least the next 10 years.
The imaging equipment has been provided by Toshiba Medical Systems and the monitoring equipment by Fysicon.