Governors take a tour of new cardiac facility at Barts Health 

Our governors were keen to see how the plans were progressing with the new cardiac facility at Barts Health. In December, Charles Knight, Consultant Cardiologist and Clinical Director for Cardiac and Renal at Barts and Louise Crosby, Director of Nursing at Barts, led a tour for governors so they could see how the plans were coming together.

The impressive facility is across seven floors and is part of an existing building with two new wings built on. There will be 250 cardiac beds, bringing together the London Chest, Barts Health and 106 beds from the Heart Hospital, with the first transfer of patients expected to commence in April 2015.

The first part of the tour was to the catheter labs for patients having suffered a heart attack.  The labs are much larger than the current ones, with lead lined glass for staff behind the screens to monitor the patients. The teams from each site will be combined to ensure everything happens at the right time, safely and the same way. Charles Knight explained that the facility could accommodate1400 patients a year suffering from acute heart attacks, who uniquely in the world were diagnosed by London Ambulance paramedics. 

The governors saw the impressive Coronary Care Unit (CCU) which would eventually have 40 beds, which is a significant increase across the sector. It is co-located to the catheter labs so sick patients arriving by ambulance will go directly to the lab before being moved into CCU and then to a standard bed for a few days recovery. 

Louise Crosby explained that they have held engagement events with patients and public from UCLH, the London Chest and Barts Health, and patients had been on a tour of the new facility with positive feedback being received. Barts Health were keen to get people involved in a task group to help solve issue, which will be done through patient experience groups.

The governors were impressed with the new facility and were invited to visit again after three months of being fully opened.