The National Director for Heart Disease, Dr Roger Boyle, was in Basingstoke to officially open the Rotherwick Foundation Cardiac Unit at the North Hampshire Hospital.
The Rotherwick Foundation Cardiac Unit is where local patients now undergo cardiac angiograms and the new permanent Cardiac Angiography Facility is located in the Sherborne building.
The coronary angiography procedure is a key diagnostic element in the detection of coronary heart disease. It involves a procedure in which a fine catheter is inserted via a blood vessel to inject x-ray opaque dye into the coronary arteries to obtain an x-ray image of the anatomy of the coronary arteries.
Dr Andrew Bishop, Cardiologist and Clinical Director said, "This facility is excellent for cardiology services in Basingstoke and North Hampshire. We now have first class facilities available to us at this hospital and we are indebted to the generosity of the charitable Trust, The Rotherwick Foundation, without whose help this would not be possible. This new unit has already made a huge difference for both staff and patients. I would like to thank both my hospital and PCT colleagues for their support and help in making this possible. Dr Boyle's visit is a morale boost for the staff that have worked to make this a reality."
The unit has cost £1,000,000 to commission and runs on a budget of around £300,000 a year. 800 patients are expected to undergo a cardiac angiogram in the first year.
Sir George said it was very generous of the Rotherwick Foundation to donate £1m to the unit."This underlines the extent to which Hampshire is underfunded, since we rely on charities to make up the difference between what we need and what we get. Thanks to this new facility, waiting times for an angiogram have come down from 11 months to 2. Within the NHS, there is recognition that the incidence of heart disease in this part of the country is higher than it should be so hopefully we will now be able to do something about it."
The Deputy Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Cllr Gerry Traynor and his wife Janet were also present. Next to the Deputy Mayor is Dr Andrew Bishop, the Head of the Unit.