Hammersmith Hospital Opens 24 Heart Assessment Centre

"Best care in shortest time" for people with suspected heart attacks

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Dr Iqbal Malik with Sarah Grace, catheter laboratory manager, and Dr Jamil Mayet, chief of service

Hammersmith Hospital


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Hammersmith Hospital has opened a new 24 hour heart assessment centre where people with suspected heart attacks will now be treated - the first centre of its kind in the country.

London Ambulance Service (LAS) will deliver people with cardiac chest pains – who would normally go through A&E – directly to the centre, rather than to smaller, local hospitals

The Heart Assessment Centre, or HAC, is unique because it will treat all high risk chest pain patients without prior assessment elsewhere. And, unlike smaller hospitals, it will not only do emergency procedures 24/7, but also carry out urgent procedures on Saturday and Sunday mornings so that patients will not need to wait until the beginning of the working week.

Lead consultant cardiologist at the HAC, Dr Iqbal Malik, says: "We will be seeing some of the highest risk heart patients in London who will greatly benefit from being investigated directly by a specialist team – giving them the best care in the shortest amount of time."

" Patients' length of stay will generally be shorter," says Dr Malik, "because they’ll receive all their care in one hospital, rather than needing to be transferred. This will not only improve the patient experience but also save money for the health service."

The nine-bedded centre is based on the first floor of Hammersmith Hospital, next to the catheter laboratories, in a newly refurbished area with a dedicated reception. Heart patients admitted to the centre will typically have an angiogram and then angioplasty, bypass surgery or additional tests, as needed, to pinpoint the cause of their symptoms.

The new beds mean Hammersmith Hospital will be able to increase the number of heart procedures it can carry out, and patients having a coronary angioplasty can be pre-assessed in the centre by specialist nurses weeks before their procedure

Imperial College Healthcare Trust invested £1.4m in the centre, which will be accepting referrals from all hospitals in North West London.

November 15, 2010

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