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Thursday
30  May

Newtown heart service saves patients' travelling

 
16/04/2024 @ 07:09

A dedicated heart team is working out of Newtown Hospital to help patients get diagnosed and treated closer to home.

The new service for patients with suspected heart problems has been introduced by Powys Teaching Health Board.
 
The service is already busy and currently the team is receiving some 50 to 60 referrals to the service each month in the north of the county alone, according to the health board.

Up to the end of March 2024, of the 458 patients assessed, only 22 needed to be referred to a consultant at a district general hospital, either in Shrewsbury or Aberystwyth.

A statement said: "The remainder were able to be treated in clinic or by their GP with medicines and / or rehabilitation. This frees up the time of consultants at district general hospitals to deal with patients who need further intervention or investigation. It also means that Powys can afford better quality cardiology services and invest in providing these with local staff and their skills."
 
Dr Graham Thomas, a GP who specialises in cardiology, has joined the health board to head up the Community Cardiology Service team. This team includes an Advanced Cardiac Physiologist, Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialists, Cardiac Specialist Nurses as well as Assistant Practitioners.
 
He said: "The service is to improve the experience and treatment for patients. Through the provision of rapid assessment, diagnosis, treatment locally, together with an ongoing referral pathway with neighbouring hospitals for further investigations and intervention, when required, we now have safer systems in place for everyone."
 
He added: “The service includes a rehabilitation programme for patients with heart failure and other cardiac conditions as well as advice in relation to wellbeing, lifestyle changes and other locally available support services.”
 
To support the service, the clinicians use Echocardiogram (Cardiac Ultrasound) and support GPs in using ambulatory (wear at home) Electrocardiogram equipment. Of the 458 patients seen, 425 received the Echocardiogram and 26 received the Electrocardiogram in house and many more via GP surgeries.
 

Photo: Dr Graham Thomas and Advanced Cardiac Physiologist Sian Evans carry out a echocardiogram on a patient at the Montgomery County Infirmary at Newtown.