New advanced cardiology service at Ipswich Hospital bringing care closer to home

Liz Brill, Kellie Myers, Clare Bailie, Neil Mangrolia and Richard Jones are all part of the new team providing the...

Liz Brill, Kellie Myers, Clare Bailie, Neil Mangrolia and Richard Jones are all part of the new team providing the cardiology service. - Credit: East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Cardiac patients in the Ipswich and Colchester areas have been saved from a 120-mile round trip after a new cardiology service has been installed at Ipswich Hospital.  

The new MRI scanner, which will initially cater for around 400 patients a year, is unlike the majority of scanners as it allows specialists to look at detailed moving images of the heart, as well as its vessels and valves.  

The technology, which does not use any radiation, will also allow cardiologists to diagnose numerous heart conditions, find the causes of heart failure, look at how blood travels through the aorta and identify valve disease or scars in the heart muscle.

Clare Bailie, lead cardiac radiographer and Sophie Skinner, cardiac radiographer and the scanner in action. 

Clare Bailie, lead cardiac radiographer and Sophie Skinner, cardiac radiographer and the scanner in action. - Credit: East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Neil Mangrolia, consultant cardiologist at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust and service lead, said the new service gives patients a really comprehensive test without the need to travel. 

He added: “The machine uses an electrocardiogram to time the pictures it takes according to the heart trace, which enables you to look at the moving heart in great detail.  


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“It has an extremely broad range of applications and can be used to diagnose numerous heart conditions.  

“Initially, the service will cater for around 400 patients a year, although that number will increase as the service develops. 

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“I am very grateful for the hard work undertaken by my colleagues including Clare Bailie, Belinda Ling, Liz Brill, Richard Jones and John Hartley who have been instrumental in the development of this service, despite the difficult circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“In addition to the benefits it will bring to patients, the introduction of this advanced imaging service is also great news for our radiography staff as it gives them an opportunity to use their skills for the diagnosis of heart conditions.” 

The introduction now means that many heart patients will no longer have to make the gruelling 120-mile round trip to Cambridge of Basildon for advanced cardiac imaging.  

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