The Duke opens Cardiac Centre
The Duke of Edinburgh officially opened the new Cardiac Centre at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital yesterday and showed a keen interest in the £5.5 million unit.
The 91-year-old Duke has personal experience of the treatment it will provide as he was fitted with a stent at Papworth Hospital in 2011.
He was welcomed to the hospital by the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nelllis, who was instrumental in arranging the visit.
He then spent more than an hour touring the state-of-the-art facility meeting consultants, staff and patients.
His famous sense of humour was to the fore as he asked lead specialist cardiac radiographer Rebecca Brown whether the team had been playing bridge before he arrived, then joked: “Good luck with your first victim.”
The Prince, who was shown how to deploy a stent and given a gold version as a memento of his visit, quipped: “Ah - a spare, just in case!”
Consultant cardiologist Muhmud Al-Bustami, who conducted a guided tour of the catheter lab, said: “He was just brilliant, he was so quick and knew everything we were talking about.” The Duke also chatted to patient Fahim Qureshi, 52, who had to go to Hammersmith when he needed an angioplasty last year.
Mr Qureshi, who runs the Hat Factory, said the new unit would enable patients to have procedures nearer to home.
He described the Duke as “very down to earth.
“He’s a wonderful old gentleman, full of empathy. Because he’d been through it himself, he knew exactly what I was talking about.”
The Duke then unveiled a plaque recording the event and added his name to the visitors book, which was signed by Queen Mary in 1939 when she opened the hospital.
The Centre’s director of cardiology, Dr Christopher Travill, said: “It’s the realisation of a dream.”
A range of investigations and treatment will directly benefit more than 1,000 patients a year, with more coronary interventions coming on stream later this year.
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Weather for Luton
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
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