30 September 2020

The new echocardiography facility, funded as part of the Bristol Heart Institute Appeal, is now in use at the hospital.

Staff at the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) and the coronary care unit (CCU) are delighted with the new unit, which is only a few metres away from both wards.

The new facility means hospital staff spend less time away from patients as there is no need to travel to level two for echocardiography scans. Previously up to 10 patients a day were making the long trip to the old facility.

Staff were spending up to 10 hours a day in the scanning room, which had very little ventilation and no windows.

Sarah Fairburn, Lead Echocardiographer at the BHI, said: “Some patients needing echocardiography scans are very high risk so have to be continually monitored during this process. Being away from their specialist care, even for a short time, has its risks.  

“Patients would need to be accompanied by a member of staff, which led to some scans being cancelled because we didn’t have the staff available to leave the ward for such a long period of time – the wait for patients at the old facility could be as long as 30 minutes.

“The difference the new facility has made to staff wellbeing and patient care is huge.”

Fang Lim, a patient at the hospital, said: “The new facility is more modern and a better environment.

“The old one was like a dungeon - you had to through corridors so it’s much closer and quicker.

“I’m sure it will serve a lot of patients very well in the future.”

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