Bosses defend Sandwell heart centre move
Hospital chiefs have defended a move to treat heart attack patients from Sandwell at a new department opened at City Hospital - saying it will boost standards.
All emergency coronary care is being centralised at City as bosses say the current system is 'unsatisfactory'.
But the move will mean longer ambulance journeys for people in Sandwell.
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust has spent £2 million on creating a new cardiology department at the Dudley Road hospital.
Two new state-of-the-art cardiac catheter labs have opened this week as part of the centralisation of cardiology in-patient and interventional services.
Hospital chiefs say the cash has been spent on new state of the art equipment which will work to improve the outcomes for patients.
Medical Director, Roger Stedman, said: "This change will help us improve emergency treatment for heart attacks and other cardiology conditions.
"The location of the catheter labs and coronary care unit onto the City Hospital site provides full emergency 24 hour cover, which runs for 365 days per year with improved access times from when patients arrive at hospital needing emergency procedures until the time they receive the interventional treatment."
Mr Stedmen moved to reassure people in the borough, saying out-patients will still take place at Sandwell and Rowley Regis hospitals.
He added: "Cardiologists will also continue to do ward rounds on both Sandwell and City Hospital sites. However, in the circumstances where a procedure is required and/or they are to be admitted to hospital either as a day case or for more than 24 hours, their treatment will be carried out at City Hospital."
The move comes as the hospital trust looks to centralise services ahead of creating the Midland Metropolitan Hospital, in Smethiwck.
Officials say hosting certain services on a single site will prepare staff before they move to the main new hospital in 2018.
Sandwell and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group chairman, Dr Nick Harding added: "Earlier this year we carried out a listening exercise to hear local people's views on the proposals. Overall patients supported the proposals, which will deliver improved care for patients.
"These changes bring us one step nearer to delivering the new Midland Met Hospital in Smethwick by 2018.
"However, we don't want to wait until 2018 to deliver improved care for patients, so I'm really pleased to see these improvements for cardiology patients being implemented."
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