Stepping Hill’s new £25m flagship Cardiology and Surgical Unit has welcomed its first patient.
Mrs Irene Bell from Buxton, attended the cardiac catheter laboratory where she was presented with a bouquet of flowers from director of operations, Ann Barnes, on behalf of the Trust to mark the special occasion.
Mrs Bell, 74, who was referred to the unit to investigate and diagnose a possible heart condition commented: “I’m a bit nervous but very excited too. The new unit is absolutely wonderful, very modern and the staff are all friendly. I was referred here as I have been getting breathless walking up stairs and hills and they need to check if I have a blocked artery in my heart. There are 89 steps to walk up to my local supermarket so I’m looking forward to finding out what could be wrong!”
Dr Simon Horner, Mrs Bell’s consultant explains the procedure which she will undergo: “We will be performing a coronary angiography on Mrs Bell. This means a catheter will be fed through into the heart where a dye is injected to assess the width of the arteries and if there are any problems.
“We have a screen at the side of the bed to monitor progress which Mrs Bell will be able to watch before going home. It is the first time we have performed this procedure here and we are all excited to have this service available for our patients.”
Before the new Cardiology and Surgical Unit opened at Stepping Hill, patients had to travel as far as the Royal Manchester Infirmary or Wythenshawe Hospital for the same diagnosis.
Ann Barnes added: “The new unit is fabulous and we are all very proud. The facilities here mean we can now provide people from Stockport and the High Peak area with the very best service. As well as the unit being custom built to cater for every staff and patient need, another massive benefit is that patients will no longer need to travel as far to receive treatment and can continue to see their original consultants.”
Designed to carry out diagnostic procedures such as Mrs Bell’s, the cardiac catheter laboratory will also offer angioplasty (unblocking or widening an artery with a tiny balloon) and the fitting of pacemakers within a few years.
Other facilities in the unit, which will all be operational by the end of August, include a 32 bedded short stay unit, an eight bedded coronary care unit and a 21 bedded clinical management unit which will be linked to A&E and used for people with head injuries or patients who need special observation.
The coronary care unit will provide inpatient care whilst the four new theatres will give Stepping Hill increased capacity enabling the Trust to carry out more operations, thereby cutting waiting times even further. Clinical specialities covered will include urology, gynaecology, orthopaedics and ear, nose and throat surgery.
For further information, please contact Vicki Baxter or Sarah Hooley at Bell Pottinger North on 01625 506444.
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