NHS Greater Glasgow is making real inroads in the treatment of Coronary Heart Disease.
Following massive investment into heart services, we've been able to treat more patients than ever before with patients waiting less time for their treatment
For instance, the number of procedures (angioplasty) carried out in Glasgow's hospitals has nearly doubled from 794 being carried out in 1997/98 to 1442 in 2003/04.
And the number of patients receiving one or more stents has increased from 34% in 1997/98 to 80% in 2002/03 (figures are for procedures carried out in Glasgow hospitals and include patients from outwith the Greater Glasgow boundary).
Increased activity by specialist heart staff has meant that waiting times have come down. The number of patients waiting for angioplasty fell from 149 in April this year to 88 by September. This was echoed by the figures for the number of patients waiting for a Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) which fell from 200 in April this year to 140 by September.
And no patient waits more than 18 weeks (the national target) for heart procedures.
This year, the investment continues with £1.1million being allocated for heart disease treatment and prevention for the period 2004/05.
Other advances in heart treatments and services include rapid access clinics; the appointment of additional Cardiologists; the CDM (stroke) programme giving patients with heart problems an annual review; heart failure nurse services; patients being fitted with internal cardiac defibrillators; new and extended services to support behaviour change (eg smoking, exercise, eating, weight management); more money being spent on statins.
Tom Divers, Chief Executive of NHS Greater Glasgow, said: "NHS Greater Glasgow is making excellent progress in the treatment of heart disease. We're already experiencing successes in this area and it's making a real difference to patient outcomes. Mortality rates are dropping, the number of people requiring secondary procedures is decreasing and heart patients are living longer, healthier lives."
One heart treatment issue that NHS Greater Glasgow is currently looking at, along with other West of Scotland NHS Boards, is the provision of Drug Eluting Stents.
At present, this is a procedure that NHS Greater Glasgow does not offer its patients.
The issue is currently being looked at on a West of Scotland basis by the West of Scotland Regional Planning Group - a group consisting of Chief Executives, Directors of Public Health and other senior representatives from the West of Scotland NHS Boards - which is working to create a more equitable and consistent West of Scotland policy on the use of Drug Eluting Stents.
The Planning Group expects to conclude this policy by late this year.
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