Patients needing treatment for a slow heart beat are more likely to receive the pacemaker most appropriate for their condition at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon than anywhere else in the country.
A new report into the provision of pacemakers in NHS hospitals revealed that 100 per cent of Swindon patients in 2014/15 were implanted with the pacemaker approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
The average NHS hospital only manages to offer this state-of-the-art device to 89 per cent of slow heart beat patients, with some poorer performing hospitals only giving the pacemaker to fewer than 50 per cent of patients.
Three hospitals were highlighted in the report by University College London as demonstrating “exemplary practice”, with the Great Western Hospital the only one of the three to offer the dual chamber pacemaker to every suitable patient.
Dr Paul Foley, Consultant Cardiologist, said: “This is great news for our patients who can be assured that when they come to the Great Western Hospital, they are receiving a very high standard of care and treatment.
“Having a slow heart beat can have a real impact on a person as it can stop them from doing the things a normal person would take for granted, but with this device we can ensure they have a quality of life similar to what they had known before.
“We are incredibly proud to have been recognised at such a high level for this achievement, which not only highlights our commitment to patients but also links directly to 500 Lives, the Trust’s vision to save an extra 500 lives by the year 2020.”
Dual chamber pacemakers work by sending an electrical pulse to both the top and bottom chambers of the heart, in comparison to single chamber pacemakers which only pace one or the other.
NICE first recommended that patients with slow heart beats are fitted with dual chamber pacemakers in 2003.
Benefits of the device, compared to other models, include a reduced risk of stroke and heart attack, while also improving a patient’s ability to exercise regularly.
A full copy of the report can be found on the UCL website, www.ucl.ac.uk.
Visit www.gwh.nhs.uk for more information on 500 Lives.