Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital’s cardio unit is best in the south

PRAISE Duke Holdway was treated at QA after his heart attack.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (121275-1)
PRAISE Duke Holdway was treated at QA after his heart attack. Picture: Paul Jacobs (121275-1)

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QUEEN Alexandra Hospital’s heart attack unit is the best in the south and patients have a better chance of surviving than at any other hospital in the area, figures show.

Heart attack victims from as far away as West Sussex and the Isle of Wight are being taken straight to the Cosham super hospital because of the advanced services available.

Figures revealed by the South Central Cardiovascular Report show that since QA was given permission to use the helipad 24 hours a day the number of patients admitted has gone up – although exact figures have not been released.

Previously, flights were only allowed between 8am and 6pm. Portsmouth City Council gave permission for 24-hour flights in September.

There were 288 admissions between April 2011 and December 2011, compared with 269 in Oxford, 229 in Southampton and 165 in Reading.

The death rate for patients treated for those admissions is 5.8 per cent at QA compared to 9.1 per cent at Southampton, 5.7 per cent at Oxford and 6.4 per cent in Reading.

Huw Griffiths, clinical director of cardiology at Portsmouth Hospitals said: ‘We were delighted with the city council’s decision to extend the operating hours of the helipad back in September.

‘The main reason for opening it at night was to get major heart attack patients to the cardiac unit as quickly as possible to receive angioplasty treatment.

‘By allowing us to change the landing restrictions on the helipad more people will be treated. It is very rewarding to see that our hard work is being translated into more lives saved’

Duke Holdway, from Petersfield, was rushed to QA by ambulance after suffering a heart attack last month.

The 89-year-old great-grandfather, from Petersfield, praised the care he received.

He said: ‘As I arrived at hospital there was a surgeon and his nursing team waiting for me.

‘They unblocked my artery and administered pain relief within half an hour.

‘I was immediately taken to my own room where I had an ensuite bathroom and a nice view.

‘I was worried about my car being parked at the surgery so the nurse at QA phoned the surgery and between the hospital and surgery they secured my car to stop it being clamped.

‘Throughout my stay at QA the nursing staff were warm, attentive, communicative with each other and were constantly popping their head around my door to ask if I wanted a drink – I used to joke that it wasn’t a hospital, it was a hotel.

‘When you’re my age, a quick response makes all the difference in the world, and I can’t thank enough all the staff that helped me recover.’