April 1st saw the 20th anniversary of the InHealth Cardiac Catheter Laboratory Service at St Peter's Hospital which was celebrated by staff and patients. 20 years ago, invasive cardiology procedures were not common practice in district hospitals, and there were many questions asked by commissioners about the need and safety of these types of procedures. After a successful presentation, it was agreed that St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey would be the first invasive cardiology centre in Surrey.
The service has developed and progressed over the years from a ground-breaking first joint partnership, from providing coronary angioplasty and simple pacing procedures to the expansive facility we have today - an all-inclusive, purpose built catheterisation suite encompassing a 10-bedded day ward and two fully equipped catheter laboratories with direct 24/7 ambulance access for heart attack patients. The InHealth Cardiac team is supported by Ashford St Peter’s Cardiac Physiologists and Cardiologists to deliver a seamless multidisciplinary team service.
InHealth Clinical Lead of Interventional Cardiology, Jackie Churchman explains how clinical developments have facilitated progression and says; “Advances in procedure techniques and equipment have enabled the unit to undertake a full range of procedures, including complex device implantation, treatment for cardiac rhythm disorders using ablation and cryotherapy (freezing) catheters, and treatment for chronic coronary artery occlusion.”
The team have carried out over 37,500 procedures since the facility opened in April 1999, a fantastic achievement which has had a positive impact on the lives of many patients. In addition, the unit oversees the full patient pathway, from managing the initial referral and waiting list through to pre-assessment and caring for the patient on the day of the procedure.
Ashford and St Peter’s Medical Director David Fluck, who was appointed in 1996 to introduce invasive Cardiology to the Trust says; “The working relationship has now been going for over 20 years and what has been so fantastic is that the angiography suite staff, the cardiac ward, and department have always operated as one team. Over the years we have grown and developed the service and ensured that the infrastructure is modern and efficient enough to enable staff to deliver great care to patients’. It has been a pleasure to work together for the last 20 years and I am sure that the collaboration and care will continue for more than 20 years to come.”
Pictured above: The InHealth and Ashford and St Peter’s Cardiology Team celebrate