Patient praises new service

24 June 2008

The first patient to have a heart pacemaker implanted at Chelsea and Westminster has praised the team of staff who have transformed her life in a heartfelt letter of thanks to Consultant Cardiologist Dr Julian Collinson.

The first patient to have a heart pacemaker implanted at Chelsea and Westminster has praised the team of staff who have transformed her life in a heartfelt letter of thanks to Consultant Cardiologist Dr Julian Collinson.

Virginia Fisher, of Wandsworth, wrote: “I felt honoured to be the first (pacemaker patient) at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Both you and Sarah Mills (Chief Cardiac Physiologist) were so reassuring and that made all the difference.

“I no longer worry about collapsing and injuring myself. I realise that over the years it was a constant concern and so it is truly wonderful to know what caused it and that youhave solved it.”

Pacemakers for cardiac patients at Chelsea and Westminster have traditionally been implanted at the Royal Brompton Hospital but the service is now being offered as a day surgery procedure in the Treatment Centre by a multi-disciplinary team of staff.

Dr Julian Collinson fits the pacemaker and much of the follow-up care is led by Sarah Mills who joined us from the Royal Brompton.

Sarah explains: “The procedure itself takes no more than 40 minutes, often less, followed by four hours of bed rest afterwards and so there is no reason why most patients shouldn’t come to the Treatment Centre in the morning and go home on the same day as their surgery.

“We offer a follow-up appointment about four to six weeks after surgery and then six-monthly check-ups.”

Dawn Grant, Senior Nurse in the Treatment Centre, says: “This has been an innovative project for us because patients who require pacemakers to be implanted are essentially medical patients being treated in a surgical area of the hospital.

“We have been delighted to work with Dr Collinson, Sarah and the rest of the cardiac team to provide the capacity needed to run this clinic.”

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