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New Service for Heart Attack Patients

October 06, 2008 5:26 PM

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde heart attack patients are to benefit from fast access to a new groundbreaking West of Scotland specialist service.

The implementation of Optimal Reperfusion will see patients diagnosed and taken to a specialist heart treatment centre within 90 minutes. Those who cannot meet this deadline will be given a clot-busting drug and will be taken direct to a specialist centre to give access to the earliest possible treatment.

The Optimal Reperfusion service, for those patients whose heart attack is due to a blocked artery, will be provided from two specialist centres in the West of Scotland, the Golden Jubilee National Hospital (GJNH), Clydebank and Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride.

Explaining the new service, Keith Oldroyd, Interventional Cardiologist at the specialist centre in the Golden Jubilee National Hospital said:

"All heart attacks are not the same and many people will continue to go to their local hospital for care. This service is for those patients whose heart attack is due to a blocked artery. Paramedics can quickly detect this from the equipment they routinely carry in ambulances and the diagnosis can be confirmed by coronary care experts at the specialist centre over the phone.

"This means that suitable patients are brought straight to the specialist centre for treatment to reopen the blocked artery using balloon angioplasty, which involves threading a long, thin balloon through the artery and inflating it to clear any obstruction.

"The clinical benefits for patients are undeniable. There is world-wide recognition of the success and patient benefits of this service."

Grant Archibald, NHS Greater Glasgow’s Director of Emergency Care and Medical Specialities, said: "This is an excellent example of joint working between Health Boards in the West of Scotland and will deliver real benefits to patients suffering from a heart attack as a result of a blocked artery."

The Optimal Reperfusion Programme will be phased in throughout the West of Scotland over the next few months and is being implemented in Greater Glasgow this month and rolled out in Clyde in November.

The West of Scotland Regional NHS Boards have agreed over £2m funding per year to provide the Optimal Reperfusion Programme. This includes over £1m to provide additional ambulance cover to meet the needs of the service.

Ian Ross, Chair of the West of Scotland Cardiac Group, added:

"This is an exciting development that will offer real health benefits to patients. It is an excellent example of partnership working between the regional boards and with the Scottish Ambulance Service."

For more information about the service, please visit our Optimal Reperfusion webpage.

Background Information: 

The West of Scotland Boards involved in this initiative include:

  • Ayrshire and Arran
  • Dumfries & Galloway
  • Forth Valley
  • Golden Jubilee National Hospital
  • Greater Glasgow & Clyde
  • Lanarkshire
  • Scottish Ambulance Service

For more information contact NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on 0141 201 4429.

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Last Updated: 06 February 2015