Peterborough City Hospital (PCH) may soon have a specialised cardiology unit of its own, after city councillors backed moves to draw up business plans for the project.
Currently, patients must travel to the world renowned Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge for complex procedures such as heart catheterisations (angiography), fitting stents (angioplasty) or inserting a pacemaker.
Doctors at Peterborough City Hospital would like to treat local patients without the risk of sending them on a long and potentially life-threatening journey to Papworth, a distance that will be increased in April 2019, when the hospital moves to their new building on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
This issue was first raised in 2012, but Papworth Hospital has had concerns about carrying out operations in Peterborough because a reduction in activity at that site could have financial implications for the hospital as it plans its move.
But at yesterday's meeting (Monday, December 10) of Peterborough City Council Health & Wellbeing Board, members give their full support to the scheme that would see the provision of the required skills and equipment for the unit.
Dr Kanchan Rege, Medical Director, North West Anglia Foundation Trust said: “We already have the space, staff and clinical expertise at Peterborough City Hospital, and the after-care unit is second to none in the county.
“Creating the provision of a local PCI (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention) and Complex Pacing (Same-day discharge) unit at Peterborough City Hospital makes perfect sense, it will save time, money and most important of all, lives."
Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, said: “I think this is the best thing for Peterborough’s patients, and I recommend it to the Council not only as our duty as Cllrs & citizens, but because we will be saving people’s lives. Those people are at risk with the current system, and if we don’t fix this issue it is a ticking time bomb."
Dr Fiona Head a Public Health Consultant GP, pointed out: “People who are at most risk of a serious heart attack will still be taken to Papworth and on the journey to the new building when that it ready.
“Both NWAFT and the Cardiology Service at PCH have looked at the current processing procedures & they give this scheme their fullest support, wanting to open up an obviously quicker pathway."
Cllrs gave their full support to the project which will be updated by the Clinical Commissioning Group by February 2019.
A business plan for the new unit at Peterborough is now due to be presented to the committee in March and final approval could be given in May next year with treatment possibly starting by the end of 2019.