First piece of ground broken for new cardiac unit at West Suffolk Hospital

The first piece of ground has been broken at the West Suffolk Hospital in preparation for the build of a £5.2 million new state-of-the-art cardiac catheterisation and pacing suite.

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) has invested in the clinical build which is set to transform and improve the scope and quality of care that cardiology patients will receive in West Suffolk and the surrounding areas.

Currently a proportion of patients with heart conditions in West Suffolk have to be treated elsewhere for a range of cardiac services that are not available at West Suffolk Hospital.

The services currently provided at the hospital – a coronary care unit and inpatient cardiac wards – also sit on different floors of the hospital, and the cardiac team conducts cardiac angiography procedures on site via a mobile unit that only visits the Trust once a week.

This means patients have to be transported across the car park to reach the mobile unit, and sometimes, due to breakdowns, the service is not available. This can increase waiting times for patient care. 

To resolve these difficulties, the new suite is being built on the ground floor of the West Suffolk Hospital site, bringing together both the cardiac care unit and cardiac inpatient wards.

Dr Pegah Salashouri, cardiology consultant at WSFT, said: “Currently many of our patients have to go to other hospitals for cardiac services – to have pacemakers fitted or for other treatments or more invasive procedures, which may mean they have to wait for further diagnosis and treatment.

“The new cardiac suite will mean quicker access to investigations and treatments and will enable angiography and pacemakers to be fitted on site, significantly reducing length of stay for patients, and improving patient experience. Delivery of more complex cardiac procedures and tests at West Suffolk Hospital will ease pressure on other local health services.

“My team and I are very excited that the build has now officially begun, and are thrilled at the improvement the completion of the build will make to patient care.”

Craig Black, director of resources, said: “The Trust is always looking for ways to improve and develop its services, and the creation of this new cardiac suite was categorically identified as a worthy investment for the health of our local population. It will develop an already fantastic service provided by Pegah and her team, as well as allow for further development to clinical space in the new suite and in the hospital.”

Tim Leggett, R G Carter director and general manager at Thetford, said: “R G Carter is delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust on this important facility. Our focus is on delivering a successful project which will clearly make a difference to patients, their families and the wider local community.”

To move cardiac diagnostic functions from the first floor of the hospital onto the ground floor with the new suite, My WiSH Charity, that supports West Suffolk Hospital, is currently running its Every Heart Matters appeal to raise an extra £500,000. This will help to create a fully-integrated cardiac centre. It has currently raised a total of £126,607 towards the project.

If you would like more information about the appeal or would like to donate please call: 01284 713466 or email: You can also text to donate: Text EHMA17 £10, or an amount of your choice, to 70070.

Pictured above is Dr Pegah Salashouri, cardiology consultant at the West Suffolk Hospital.

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