Radial Lounge Update - from Senior Sister Diana Cooper

Senior Sister - Diana Cooper

Senior Sister - Diana Cooper

Hello, my name is Diana Cooper. I’m a Senior Sister here at Musgrove, and have worked within the Cardiology Department for the past 19 years. I’m incredibly proud to be part of this team especially as we’ve been recognised locally in Our Musgrove Awards. The call to treatment times for local patients suffering an Acute Heart Attack are amongst the shortest nationally.

On behalf of my colleagues and myself I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has donated to the Radial Lounge Appeal so far, this will have a direct impact on the care of patients within the department.

Without the generosity of the Somerset public, we wouldn’t be able to improve the level of care we provide to our patients such as Paul.  Paul has been using our service since he moved to Somerset, and is one of our brilliant success stories. He explains in his own words why our department has been so important to him.

“Whilst serving in the Royal Marines, I was struck down with Parvovirus B19 (a measles derivative which causes Slap Cheek in children). I can’t say it was while serving in some dark, dangerous and steamy jungle; I had volunteered to play the part of Father Christmas for the local children and one of them had the virus. Unfortunately, I was one in hundreds of thousands where the virus attacked my heart.

I was a very fit and adventurous man, and was quite taken aback when the doctor told me they were going to send me to hospital. After several weeks of things being attached, prodded and poked, I was sent to the Centre of Cardiology in the country I was stationed in for the first of what have become several ablations (an intervention that scars the nodes of the heart). I quickly recovered and within several months was back training, being active if a little less adventurous.

On return to the UK my family and I settled in Somerset, where we have now lived for over 25 years. It was at this point that Musgrove Park Hospital’s Cardiology Department took over my care, for which I was very grateful as I was aware of their excellent reputation.

Unfortunately my heart chose not to play ball on many occasions, going into atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat), with no rhyme or reason and weeks to years between treatments. I have had numerous DC cardioversions (electric paddles to the heart) and ablations.

Although these issues keep occurring, the Cardiology Team at Musgrove have made me feel very special during my treatment. They go out of their way to encourage me to stay active and at 60 years young I am still an ocean swimmer and triathlete. They manage my treatment excellently, keeping me informed at all times. Their clinical excellence is well proven and this is paired with the way they treat you as a person, especially at anxious times for you and your family.

Many of us accept that the NHS is there for us in our time of need and many of us receive treatment and just walk away without a second thought. Then there are times when we have the opportunity to put something back into this great institution, and I feel passionately about giving back for the wonderful care I have received.”

Across Musgrove we are constantly striving to improve patient care, and in Cardiology we identified an improvement that could be made for patients having procedures called angiograms and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI). Currently, many of the 1,000s of procedures undertaken at Musgrove each year are delivered through the groin which involves potentially long recovery times. This can result in precious bed spaces within the hospital being used for longer than is ideal.

Work has already begun thanks to £50,000 worth of donations!

Work has already begun thanks to £50,000 worth of donations!

A Radial Lounge in our department would mean that most patients would receive angiograms and PCIs via the wrist (radial) whilst sitting in a comfortable chair in a more homely environment.  Shorter treatment and recovery times would massively reduce bed blocking and, ultimately, give a better patient experience.

We need £68,000 to make a Radial Lounge a reality so patients don’t have to experience longer waiting times and stressful stays in hospital.  So far, we have raised nearly £50,000 through the generosity of individuals and trusts, and staff are busy fundraising too.  We are nearly there so I would ask that you please help us achieve our vision. 

If you are able to support us, there are plenty of ways to donate - head to the Donate page on this website, give the Fundraising Team a call on 01823 344437 to make a card payment or head to our Just Giving page that can be found at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/MusgroveRadialLounge

With my best wishes and grateful thanks for your ongoing support,

Diana Cooper

Senior Sister

Cardiac Catheter Labs

Dan Varley