Every Heart Matters
Our biggest appeal ever!
Launched in July 2017 our Every Heart Matters appeal was the biggest appeal the charity had undertaken but we knew just how important it was and just what a difference it would make.
The aim was to raise £500,000 to create a cardiac diagnostic unit at West Suffolk Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust were investing £5.2 million to create a cardiac unit which would include a cardiac ward, coronary care unit and an imagining suite but were unable to include the cardiac diagnostic unit in their plans.
The cardiac diagnostic staff perform around 14,500 tests a year on patients, including around 500 on children. The knowledge the staff have is just incredible and so we felt it was vital to be able to bring the unit down to join the new cardiac unit, so creating an amazing, state of the art cardiac centre for the community of west Suffolk.
Heart disease is the single biggest killer in the UK, and worldwide. On average one person dies every three minutes from the disease and activity in the hospital’s cardiology department had been increasing year on year, with a significant increase in patient demand in the last five years.
A proportion of patients with heart conditions in west Suffolk were having to be treated elsewhere for a range of cardiac services that were not available at West Suffolk Hospital. The new cardiac centre has changed all that. The new imaging suite means our cardiologists are able to fit pacemakers meaning patients no longer need to travel to other Trusts; their treatment is quicker which means faster recovery time. Patients can now come in as a day patient, be fitted with a pacemaker and return home the same day. This new service also means some patients aren't waiting in West Suffolk Hospital for a bed at another Trust, therefore requiring an inpatient stay of, sometimes, up to three weeks.
As well as pacemakers the centre is now able to perform angiograms. Previously this was performed once a week on a mobile unit with up to twelve patients only being able to be treated. The patient also needed to be 'well enough' to walk outside for the procedure. Not any more, the new centre can perform around twelve angiograms daily in its new imaging suite. It really is making such a difference.
Added to this is the new cardiac ward with its modern design. All aspects of care have been thought of. The windows are covered with a special contra vision film meaning you can see out but people can't see in. From the outside all the windows have a wonderful vision of trees. The lighting has been carefully chosen, the side rooms are all large and spacious. Each bay includes its own ensuite bathroom meaning patients have the facilities close to hand and, if needed, the bay can be closed to avoid the spread of infection.
The signage throughout the centre has been built with strong and clear graphics. This will aid our dementia patients, something that is always thought of when updating areas of the Trust.
The new cardiac diagnostic unit
The cardiac diagnostic team complete a variety of tests including electrocardiograms (ECGs), echocardiograms, and stress tests. These are now performed in a range of new, light and airy rooms with every eventuality thought of. Each room has in built oxygen and, again, the lighting and signage has been cleverly chosen. There is plenty of room to house treadmills, desks and several members of staff if needed.
There is now a purpose built TOE (transoesophageal echocardiogram) room. This procedure was previously performed in another part of the hospital which sometimes, during busy periods, had to be used for other patients, so cancelling the TOE appointments. Now, with its own space this is no longer the case.
And our favourite room is the ECG room. This has been created with our young patients in mind. As well as child friendly curtains and a wonderful projector which throws patterns around the room, the ceiling houses special lighting with graphics of hot air balloons. This has proved popular with patients of all ages.
We did it!
October 2018 saw us welcome all fundraisers and supporters along to see the new cardiac centre before it was open to patients. It was just wonderful to be able to show people how we had spent their money and they were all overwhelmed with what they saw.
We also held a special day where press and tv came along to see our appeal ambassador, Frankie Dettori MBE unveil a plaque thanking everyone for their support. Frankie was also amazed with the new unit and thanked everyone who donated and made the appeal a success.
It's been a long journey but one we are very proud of. This huge appeal has led to an outstanding space allowing our fantastic cardiac staff to give truly amazing care.
Thank you to everyone for your support. Together we really have made a difference.
Read more about some of the fundraisers who helped us reach our goal.
Every Heart still Matters!
As a charity we are here to not to buy the things the NHS should provide but to enhance the care at West Suffolk Hospital. We will continue to support the new cardiac centre so if you think there is something we could do to make your visit easier or better or you want to thank the staff for your care then please let us know.
You can continue to donate on our Just Giving page or contact the charity team on 01284 713466 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.