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Hospital bids for new service

PUBLISHED: 14:30 21 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:33 03 March 2010

A NEW service to help nip circulation problems in the bud, and save patients a long journey to Papworth, could soon arrive at Ipswich Hospital.

The Evening Star can reveal today that the hospital has applied for funding and is just waiting to hear if it will be granted enough to start an angiography service.

A NEW service to help nip circulation problems in the bud, and save patients a long journey to Papworth, could soon arrive at Ipswich Hospital.

The Evening Star can reveal today that the hospital has applied for funding and is just waiting to hear if it will be granted enough to start an angiography service.

Angiography is a special X-ray procedure that takes pictures - "angiograms" - of your blood vessels and can detect blockages, which could lead to serious problems.

The procedure is usually done by inserting a catheter into an artery or vein in your groin.

The catheter, a small, flexible, hollow tube about the size of a thin strand of spaghetti, is carefully threaded into your blood vessel and guided it to the area to be studied.

When the catheter reaches the site under investigation, X-ray dye is injected through the catheter. This clearly outlines the blood vessels and enables the radiologist to see any irregularities or blockages as the picture is relayed onto a screen.

Hospital chief executive Peter Morris announced the plan at the hospital's annual general meeting last night and said: "We know we can offer angiography locally.

"It is done at Papworth at the moment which means a 1.5 hour journey for patients from the Ipswich area, and further for those from the Suffolk Coastal area.

"We have been supported in our proposal to run the service here by Suffolk Health and I am very confident we will be able to provide angiography at this site in the very near future."

He later added that angiography had long been a service that the hospital had wanted to start.

"The benefit will not only be in the fact that it saves patients a long journey. There is research evident which shows that if people have access to a service locally, more people use it - so more people are treated at an early stage."

If funding is granted, angiography should be on offer by next summer.

At the meeting, which was attended by about 60 people, Mr Morris also highlighted other advances in care which have taken place during 2000/2001 at the hospital, which has an income of £107 million and employs 3,500 staff.

They included better cancer services in the form of two radiotherapy machines –the best available in Europe, the Rhythm of Life appeal to raise money for cardiology, a plan to improve intensive care, a new acute respiratory care unit and a community unit, all of which have been featured in the Evening Star.

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