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Wholehearted effort pays off
8:00pm Sunday 3rd February 2013 in News
PATIENTS receiving echocardiography can be reassured of an excellent standard of service, as Great Western Hospital has been awarded national accreditation.
The non invasive test, often referred to as a cardiac echo, uses sound waves to create moving pictures of the heart, showing the size and shape, how well the chambers and valves are working, and how the blood is flowing.
It allows doctors to diagnose and monitor patients with damage to their heart following a heart attack, abnormal heart valves, heart murmurs and congenital heart disease.
And, after a tough assessment, the cardiology department at GWH has received accreditation by the British Society of Echocardiography, which is affiliated to the British Cardiovascular Society.
Dr Badrinathan Chandrasekaran, the consultant cardiologist at GWH said: “For us the ultimate aim of obtaining BSE accreditation was to ensure we were achieving and maintaining high standards of clinical echocardiography for the benefit of our patients.
“The work towards accreditation involved both written and practical assessments of cardiologists and senior members of the team. “It involved a huge amount of effort and is a testament to the commitment of our team. “The department has also been accredited for training future doctors and cardiac physiologists to the BSE standards in echocardiography; ensuring that Swindon maintains its pool of highly trained staff, without whom it would not be possible to provide such a high quality service.” Recently the team has introduced a new type of echo into the serviced called a stress echo. This involves carrying out a treadmill stress test to evaluate a patient’s heart response to physical activity, which helps to identify blockages in heart arteries.
Dr Chandrasekaran said: “We are continuously looking to improve the quality and range of treatment we offer our patients.
“And having accreditation allows us to ensure that our standard of echocardiography remains high so that we are able to pick up cardiac conditions and decide upon the most appropriate treatment. “In addition to the introduction of stress echocardiography, we are also beginning to develop our capacity to do 3D echos. “This allows a more detailed assessment of the structure and function of the heart.”