A newly refurbished cath lab has opened at Northwick Park Hospital.
The £1m refit means the trust is now back to three operational labs at Northwick Park and Ealing which use diagnostic imaging equipment to treat patients with heart conditions.
Consultant cardiologist Nigel Stephens, said: “It’s been a tough twelve months but we managed to keep the service going by quickly creating covid and non-covid pathways within the department.”
The cardiology team typically carried out more than 500 angioplasties a year at Northwick Park’s two labs and it is testament to the tight-knit team that they successfully completed 400, despite the on-going challenges of the pandemic.
Nigel added: “People don’t stop having heart problems just as they don’t stop having cancer and that has been a concern because we have been hugely disadvantaged by Covid-19.
“I’m proud of the team because they have all put in a lot of extra hours and just did what needed to be done to keep the service going. We are always keen to treat ‘our patients’ as close to home as possible.”
Planning for the new lab began more than a year ago as the imaging equipment has a finite life of around seven years before needing to be replaced.
The x-ray equipment helps guide minimally invasive procedures by providing the team with detailed images of the arteries and chambers of the heart.
It also facilitates ultrasound, measuring blood flow and optical coherence tomography, which provides high detailed imaging of cross sections of the heart.
The two cath labs are expected to accommodate 1,200 angiograms, 750 angioplasties and the fitting of more than 200 pacemakers a year.