New clinical services at the heart of St Cross

Rugby patients with heart conditions will soon be able to receive some of their care closer to home thanks to a brand new facility which has been installed at the Hospital of St Cross.

A new mobile cardiac catheterisation lab (or cath lab) is now in place at the hospital thanks to an investment by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust. This is only the latest development at the Hospital of St Cross to help patients with heart and lung conditions, as a new sleep studies unit is also being created at the Rugby site.

The new mobile cath lab, which is next to the main entrance to the hospital, will see approximately 40 patients a week who are waiting for Electro Physiology studies (EP). These tests locate problems with the electrical signals in the heart by passing soft wires up a vein in the leg and into the heart.

Currently patients with cardiac arrhythmia need to travel to other centres, including University Hospital in Coventry, for these vital tests and it is the first time that they will be available in Rugby. Because the new £500,000 unit is mobile, it has been installed already, and it is hoped that it will be used to treat patients from later this month.

The new unit is part of a wider expansion of cardiac services run by the Trust. The number of EP specialist consultants has recently been doubled from two to four, and a specialist nursing team supports patients throughout their care.

Combined with the cath labs in Coventry, the team treats patients from across Coventry and Warwickshire, as well as Worcestershire, parts of Birmingham and South Staffordshire.

Professor Andrew Hardy, Chief Executive Officer of UHCW NHS Trust, said:
“This new investment shows our commitment to expanding services at the Hospital of St Cross.

“This new facility means that patients can access these vital procedures and diagnostic tests closer to their homes. Introducing the new unit should also improve access for patients, as well as the time they need to wait for their treatment.”

Dr Dawn Adamson, Cardiology Consultant and Clinical Lead for Cardiac Services, said:
“We’re delighted to expand this service for patients in Rugby and surrounding areas.

“The vital procedures that we will be able to offer in the new unit will transform the day-to-day lives of patients with cardiac arrhythmias or cardiac rhythm problems.”

Another new service to come to the Hospital of St Cross is a new comprehensive sleep studies unit. This is expected to open this financial year following an investment of £169,000 by UHCW NHS Trust, and a funding commitment of £80,000 from The Friends of St Cross.