New Service for Patients with Heart Failure

Life for local patients with heart failure has become a little easier, thanks to a new service introduced by NHS Forth Valley.

Specialist cardiac MRI scans are now able to be carried out locally, rather than patients having to travel to hospitals in other health boards in the Central belt such as Edinburgh and Glasgow.

NHS Forth Valley Consultant Radiologist, Dr Lindsey Norton, said radiographers within the department had been working above and beyond to secure top-class imaging, supported by colleagues from the West of Scotland Regional Heart and Lung Centre based at the Golden Jubilee University National Hospital in Clydebank. The Centre provided specialist training for a number of NHS Forth Valley radiographers, helping them to gain valuable knowledge and experience which they have used to develop the new local service.

She said: “The aim of the new cardiac MRI service is to provide high quality imaging for patients in the Forth Valley area which will complement the pre-existing cardiology service.

“MRI plays an important role in diagnosis and management decisions in many cardiac conditions so a local service is a great asset. A recent success saw patients being scanned locally prior to urgent implantable cardiac defibrillator insertion. Previously this often would have required transfers to and from another hospital and an extended inpatient stay before the device could be inserted.”

NHS Forth Valley Consultant Cardiologist, Dr Fiona Shearer, added: “The new service has hit the ground running with all the test scans completed and excellent quality images being acquired. We have a high demand for the service and patients are very positive about the service now being available locally. There is no doubt this service will further optimise the care of our cardiac patients and ensure we are up at the front of the pack in terms of standard of care.”

Photo caption: NHS Forth Valley Consultant Radiologist, Dr Lindsey Norton (red top) reviews a cardiac MRI scan.