Heart attack patients from Worcestershire and Herefordshire requiring lifesaving primary angioplasty treatment will soon be able to be treated at Worcestershire Royal Hospital 24 hours a day, seven days a week rather than having to travel to a heart attack centre in Birmingham, Coventry or Wolverhampton out of hours.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust Board has approved plans to commence a 24 hours a day, seven days a week Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PPCI) service from September 2012. This follows on from the successful implementation of a Monday to Friday 9am-5pm PPCI service in January 2011.
Primary angioplasty is a procedure used to open the narrowed or blocked coronary arteries of the heart immediately after the most serious type of heart attack is diagnosed. The process involves a catheter being inserted directly into an artery in the leg and a balloon inflated in the blocked artery. The balloon expands the artery and a stent is inserted.
The procedure is regarded as being the best intervention that produces the most effective results and outcomes for heart attack patients.
Dr Jasper Trevelyan, Consultant Cardiologist at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "We are delighted that plans are progressing to enable this lifesaving service to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week from September.
"We are now working through the options which will enable the development of a twin cardiac catheter lab within Worcestershire Royal Hospital."
PPCI is a specialist heart procedure commissioned by the West Midlands office of the Midlands and East Specialised Commissioning Group (previously known as the West Midlands Specialised Commissioning Team), who commission specialised services on behalf of the West Midlands PCT Clusters.