Patients with heart rhythm problems can now get expert care closer to home, thanks to new technology purchased by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), with support from the Basingstoke Deane Rotary club.
The ablation machine worth £60,000 supports doctors in finding and fixing irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias). The ablation procedure is well-established in the United Kingdom but up until now was only available to patients in Hampshire by travelling to Southampton.
The first cardiac ablation at HHFT took place at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital last month, performed by Dr Rob Bowers and his team.
Dr Rob Bowers said: “The procedure involves us working out exactly what mechanism a patient’s abnormal rhythm is caused by and then taking a wire from the vein at the top of the leg and using it to give either heat or cooling energy to get rid of the abnormal rhythm.”
He added: “We have lots of patients who travel for this procedure at the moment and what we want to do is take the patients who we can help safely in Basingstoke and offer them the treatment closer to home.
“This means the equipment in Southampton is freed up, so instead of having one piece of kit to help all of the patients in Hampshire, we have two.”
“Once the new cardiac labs are built the service will grow even further. We are all really excited about what's to come and the high-quality care we can give to our patients.”
Alex Whitfield, chief executive of the trust said: “We are so grateful to the Basingstoke Deane Rotary club for their generosity and support in getting this new technology into our hospitals. It is a great addition to the care we are able to provide and is a great example of our commitment to innovation for the benefit of our population. We are looking ahead to the autumn when we open our new Cath labs to enable us to continue providing outstanding cardiac care for our patients.”
The Basingstoke Deane Rotary club raised £30,000 through various fundraising activities to pay for the specialist equipment. The remaining funding was provided by the trust.
Rotary club president David Knights said: “We are all really pleased to have been able to make a difference by raising this money for such a good cause – with each pound making a big difference.”