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Royal Surrey’s Revamped Lab to Diagnose and Treat Heart Conditions

Published on: 1 Jul, 2023
Updated on: 6 Jul, 2023

The Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford.

A revamped laboratory that can diagnose and treat heart conditions has opened at Guildford’s Royal Surrey County Hospital.

It follows a £0.5 million refurbishment of an existing laboratory.

The Cardiac Catheter Laboratory, also called a Cath Lab, now has a new type of X-ray machine being used for the first time in the UK.

A range of heart conditions using minimally invasive techniques rather than surgery will be performed in the Cath Lab.

Dr Alvina Amin, joint clinical director of cardiology at the hospital, said: “Cath Labs are a really important part of treating heart conditions and a doctor may send a patient there to diagnose and treat conditions including coronary artery disease, heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythms, to implant pacemakers and loop recorders.

“This significant investment will make sure that we can maintain a high-quality cardiac service for Guildford and Waverley.”

The new Cardiac Catheter Laboratory at the Royal Surrey County Hospital was formally opened on June 26. In the photo, Louise Stead, chief executive (middle left), Dr Michael Hickman, senior consultant cardiologist (middle), Dr Sothinathan Gurunathan, consultant cardiologist and lead for imaging echocardiography (far right), with a GE Healthcare representative.

More than 4,500 patients are treated at the hospital each year for planned and emergency procedures, which include the insertion of almost 400 devices such as pacemakers and implantable cardiovascular defibrillators – small devices to treat people with dangerously abnormal heart rhythms.

The laboratory carries out 40 electrophysiology tests every year, to assess the electrical system or activity of a patient’s heart and 450 angiograms which are X-rays to check blood vessels.

The laboratory, which is open five days a week, operated in temporary location during the 12-week refurbishment.

The official opening of the refurbished laboratory was carried out by Royal Surrey’s Chief Executive, Louise Stead, on Monday, June 26.

She said: “This is a fantastic facility that will enhance the high level of specialised care that we can provide.

“Having worked as a cardiology nurse I know first-hand how the procedures performed in the Cath Lab can greatly improve the quality of life for our patients.

“This investment is another example of the Royal Surrey’s commitment to continually improving and providing the very best standards of care for members of our community.”

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Responses to Royal Surrey’s Revamped Lab to Diagnose and Treat Heart Conditions

  1. Victor Howarth Reply

    July 2, 2023 at 11:47 am

    As a person with Heart Failure i welcome this new addition to the Hospital that has looked after my heart for twenty years now. This will help many more people and give everyone confidence that they all need that help is at hand if needed.

  2. Nigel Keane Reply

    July 4, 2023 at 2:28 am

    I was very pleased to see the new Cardiac Catheter Laboratory at The Royal Surrey.

    Ten years ago I had the first of several heart incidents, I had to be taken from Royal Surrey to Frimley Park in order to have two stents fitted. This was by high-speed blue light ambulance. A couple of years ago I had more problems and again had to journey over to Frimley Park luckily my existing stents were ok. The New Lab means that patients will no longer have to be transferred removing a risk to them.

    I have been in the Cardiac Care unit at RSCH at least six times and cannot praise them enough The nurses, assistants and doctors have been so dedicated. I hope that they are able to settle their pay soon as they deserve every penny. I would like to see their training paid for by the NHS rather than them having to struggle in the first few years of working.

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