Cath Lab 5 is now live

As part of our £15m programme to create new Cath labs and invest in new equipment for radiology and cardiology, Cath Lab 5 has become operational today.

This new lab creates a dedicated space for complex arrhythmia treatment, after redundant x-ray equipment was removed to clear the space as part of the Interventional Capacity Programme, which has seen investment in both Radiology and Cardiology equipment.

The new lab will provide a permanent home within cardiology for complex Electrophysiology procedures, offering increased recovery facilities as well. During the refurbishment, extra lists have been run outside the department using temporary facilities in the Norfolk Centre for Interventional Radiology (NCIR), which opened in September 2021.

Cardiology used to share use of the labs with the Interventional Radiology team before it moved into its purpose-built centre. The resulting vacant space is the location of the new Cath Lab 5.

Cath Lab 5 will carry out procedures such as Pacemaker insertion as well as Electrophysiology studies involving diagnosing and treating heart rhythm disorders.

“I am thrilled that the refurbishment of this suite is now complete. It will be a dedicated Electrophysiology /Pacing Lab,” said Richard Till, Consultant Cardiac Electrophysiologist and Cardiologist.

Electrophysiology is the assessment of the heart’s electrical system or activity and is used to diagnose abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmia. The test is performed by inserting catheters and then wire electrodes, which measure electrical activity, through blood vessels that enter the heart. Having a dedicated space for these procedures has allowed us to build a state-of-the-art unit specifically designed for these complex arrhythmia treatments.

It may also eventually reduce the very long waiting times for these procedures which have been impacted dramatically by the Covid-19 pandemic. We also expect to see a reduction in the number of late cancellations due to the breakdown of equipment.”

All the labs in the programme are fitted with the latest Philips technology to provide a technical upgrade in terms of system capability, as well as benefits to patients and clinical staff on the basis they require much less radiation to produce high quality images than current equipment. The first additional Cath Lab (Cath Lab 4) under the managed equipment scheme (MES) was finished in December 2019.

“We’re so delighted with this facility. This puts the lab back in within the cardiology footprint. Having a dedicated space for this equipment means staff will no longer need to move and rebuild the equipment between cases, and because the new Cath Lab has a five-bedded recovery area, this will allow for the easy transfer of care pre and post procedure,” said Michele Perry, Cath Lab Lead Nurse.

“The refurbishment was put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic and EP services have been compromised as a result. This is a very important step towards providing the patients of Norfolk with effective access to Electrophysiology services,” added Richard.

Recruitment in nursing and physiology areas is ongoing so keep an eye on our NNUH jobs page and our vacancies roundup on a Friday.

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