TWO new laboratories costing £2.5million have opened at Hammersmith Hospital.
Sir Bruce Keogh, national medical director of NHS England, unveiled the cardiac catheter labs at the White City hospital on Tuesday last week.
Sir Bruce took a tour around the Augustus Waller Department of Electrophysiology, which has new diagnostic imaging equipment and will mean doctors can diagnose and treat irregular heartbeats, and perform coronary angioplasty to widen narrowed arteries.
Other treatments include TAVI, a less invasive form of aortic valve replacement to treat narrowed heart valves and minimally invasive closures of holes in the heart.
The new labs are part of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust’s move to contain all cardiology services on a single site, after the electrophysiology department at St Mary’s in Paddington was moved to Hammersmith Hospital.
A former cardiothoracic surgeon at Hammersmith in the 1990s, Sir Bruce said: “The cardiology service at Hammersmith Hospital has a fantastic heritage and a great future thanks to the trust’s ambition and academic leadership.
“The trust is in good financial shape and this will help to develop services while, as part of an academic health sciences centre, the department will be able to conduct important trials and be involved in translational research for the benefit of patients.”
The new facilities are part of a five-lab suite to improve quality of care, research and patient experience.
They are named after August Waller, a professor of physiology at St Mary’s Hospital whose research led to the development of the electrocardiograph (ECG), which records the heart’s electrical activity.
Dr Kevin Fox, the trust’s chief of service for cardiology, said the opening represented a bright day for people at risk of heart disease in north west London.
He added: “We have created a hub for acute cardiac care in north-west London, linking a fantastic Imperial College London research facility to clinical care on the same site. Working in partnership with London Ambulance Service, we uniquely in north-west London offer 24/7 care for people whose heart is beating life threateningly fast or slow, whose heart arteries are blocked or whose heart muscle is failing.”