Hospital staff and patients celebrate 10 years of cardiology department at Beedon House

Bedford Hospital cardiology unit.
Bedford Hospital cardiology unit.

Staff and patients at Bedford Hospital’s cardiology department held a special celebration to mark a landmark.

They were marking the 10th anniversary of the cardiac catheterisation suite on Thursday, July 3.

In 2004, the department moved from its outdated building to occupy two floors in the hospital’s brand-new Beeden House. The unit was officially

opened by the then Mayor Frank Branston.

With funding from the National Lottery, the department was able to purchase a state-of-the-art cardiac catheterisation laboratory, which is used to take images of the heart’s arteries to help diagnose conditions such as Angina or Coronary Heart Disease, so that treatment can then be carried out. Stenting of the vessels of the heart is also undertaken as well as implanting cardiac pacemakers.

Since moving to the new unit, more than 11,000 angiograms, 1,500 pacemaker implants and 1,300 stenting procedures have been performed.

Consultant Cardiologist Dr John Cooper hosted the event, which was attended by Councillor Randolph Charles.

He said: “Having this great facility ensures that important services are available locally, which means shorter waiting and travelling times for patients who would otherwise need to attend a tertiary centre much further afield.

“We have low complication rates and high patient satisfaction ratings at Bedford and this is down to the fantastic facilities we have but also our superb team of cardiology staff.”

Patient Eric Hartwell, who is 87 from Kempston, has had two pacemakers fitted at the suite.

He was invited to the event and afterwards he said: “I cannot put into words how thankful I am of what they have done to help me here.