Every Heart Matters: Frankie Dettori launches £500,000 West Suffolk Hospital charity appeal
A £500,000 appeal has been launched at the West Suffolk Hospital to support the build of a brand new cardiac centre.
The My WiSH Charity’s ‘Every Heart Matters’ appeal was officially launched yesterday (24 July) by renowned Newmarket jockey Frankie Dettori, in front of hospital staff, charity members and patients.
The hospital’s cardiology department has seen a significant increase in patient demand over the last five years, and is now on a mission to transform and improve the care patients with heart conditions receive.
The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is investing £5.2m in developing a state of the art cardiac suite that will provide quicker access to more treatments, but the £500,000 My WiSH is hoping to raise will lead to the whole unit, which is currently fragmented on different floors, being brought together in one purpose-built centre.
With the cardiac suite allowing procedures like angiography and pacemakers to be fitted on site for the first time ever, the appeal funds will mean that diagnostic tests such as heart scans, treadmill testing and cardiac rhythm monitoring can also be done in the same place – rather than two floors above in the current unit.
Thanks to the increased space and availability of state-of-the-art equipment, patient experience will improve enormously.
Dr Pegah Salahshouri, consultant cardiologist at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Patients who currently have to be transferred elsewhere for these procedures will be able to have more of their care here at the West Suffolk Hospital.
“The appeal is an exciting opportunity to create somewhere over and above the norm, better than average, a place that will exceed expectations.
“Relocating the diagnostic unit will also free up valuable clinical space in the main hospital, creating further opportunities for development and improved patient care.”
Heart disease is the single biggest killer in the UK, with national statistics showing that on average one person dies every three minutes from the disease.
Mr Dettori, who is the ambassador for the appeal, said it is “very important” to raise the awareness.
“I have spent 31 years in Newmarket and consider myself a Suffolk person; the appeal is very much local to me and my family, and we all have the opportunity to support great new facilities in our hospital, so I am more than happy to help out.
“This is the biggest appeal that the charity has taken on, so let’s hope we get the funds to make the dream a reality.”
Sue Smith, the fundraising manager for My WiSH, which supports the hospital, added: “Having Frankie on board to help the campaign is a just fantastic, and he has been so willing to be our ambassador.
“It is the biggest appeal we have ever launched at the hospital but we are welcoming the challenge!”
Dr Salahshouri added: “With an ageing population in west Suffolk, we’re likely to see more patients with heart disease that need our care. We want those people to feel inspired by their surroundings and confident about the care they receive when they come to our hospital. This appeal will help us to do that.”
For more information about the appeal and how to donate please call: 01284 712952, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to the website: www.mywishcharity.co.uk.