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Hospital heart labs officially reopened after £4.5m refurbishment

26 April

Former Liverpool FC and Scotland captain Graeme Souness proudly cut the ribbon on the four refurbished cardiac catheter laboratories at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital (RBH) on Thursday.

The £4.5m refurbishment took a year to complete and has enabled the Cardiac Team to provide an improved quality of care to patients and extend the availability of invasive cardiac procedures carried out.

RBH provides regional electrophysiology and 24/7 coronary angioplasty/stenting services for Dorset and parts of west Hampshire and Wiltshire. Every year staff treat around 5,700 patients in the cardiac catheter labs, with more than 1,000 urgent or emergency procedures for patients suffering a heart attack.

Graeme, a former heart patient and patron of the Bournemouth Heart Club, said: “I’m very aware of the work you all do and how important it is for this community and the difference it can make to peoples’ lives. I know from first-hand experience what a fantastic job you do and I’m very grateful for that. On behalf of everyone who’s been here and will be here, I thank you.”

The refurbishment has also allowed the provision of electrophysiology procedures in a second lab, meaning patients can be treated more quickly, meeting the growing demand of the local population.

Electrophysiology is an area of cardiology concerned with treating patients who have abnormalities of heart rhythm. RBH is the only hospital in Dorset to carry out such procedures, with around 600 cases performed last year.

The new state-of-the-art labs provide high resolution images, allowing precision guidance during cardiac procedures. A new x-ray system has reduced radiation exposure to both patients and staff while the integration of all systems has future-proofed the service, providing Dorset residents with the best standards of care.

Dr Richard Bala, consultant cardiologist and RBH Catheter Lab Director, said: “This is an exciting future for cardiology and it is a great privilege to be able to provide first class cardiac services to our local population and beyond.

“We’d like to thank everyone in Team RBCH who was involved in this refurbishment which allows our patients to receive the very best care.”

Graeme Souness

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