'We could not have done this without you' - new cardiac centre opens at West Suffolk Hospital
Renowned jockey Frankie Dettori has opened a multi-million pound cardiac centre at West Suffolk Hospital.
The unit allows the hospital to offer patients procedures such as angiography and pacemakers and brings together the cardiology ward as well as the cardiac care and diagnostics units.
The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has invested £5.2 million in the centre and the hospital’s My WiSH Charity has been running the £500,000 Every Heart Matters fund-raising appeal, which Frankie launched last year as its ambassador.
Dr Pegah Salahshouri, who as cardiology consultant has been instrumental in bringing the centre to fruition, said: “I’m a pacing specialist so when I started working at the trust it made no sense for me to have those abilities but not be able to provide them here. I originally asked for a slot in theatres but was invited to make the case for a new unit.
“The hospital’s cardiology department has seen a 23 per cent increase in patient demand over the last five years, therefore it made so much sense to invest in this.
“Bringing together our cardiac care unit, cardiology inpatient ward and cardiac diagnostics unit, enables a much more efficient way of working for our staff and better continuity of care for our patients. We are now one team, sharing the same space and no longer spread out across the hospital.”
The trust used to only be able to offer angiograms once a week on a mobile unit that visited the hospital car park.
The new centre has a catheterisation lab, allowing the trust to carry out diagnostic angiograms and pacemaker procedures five days a week
Completion of the centre and the transfer of the cardiac diagnostics unit was made possible by the My WiSH appeal.
Sue Smith, head of fund-raising for the charity, said: “This is the biggest appeal My WiSH has undertaken to date and the appeal funds have ensured that diagnostic tests like echocardiograms can also be done in the same place – rather than two floors above, which is where diagnostics used to be.”
Thanking Frankie and donors, she added: “You have been working so hard to help us reach our £500,000 target, and we could not have done this without you.”