...Making life better for Yorkshire Heart Patients

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The AGM was held on Monday evening 9th June in the Lecture Theatre, Clarendon Wing of Leeds General Infirmary.

In his report, the Chairman, Colin Pullan MBE., paid tribute to the many individuals and organisations who had contributed to the charity over the past year and to the Trustees who had given freely of their time to ensure the continued success of this wonderful organisation.

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Colin Pullan, Alex McLean and Stephanie Kaufman

The Treasurer, Alex McLean, presented the years accounts reporting that the charity was in a healthy position even after sums in excess of £100,000 had been promised for new projects.

The Assistant Treasurer, Jack Calvert thanked those people who had assisted with collection boxes over the year, making a worthwhile addition to the funds of Take Heart.

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Jack Calvert

It was noted with regret that Ron Bretherton is standing down as Vice Chairman of the Charity.

Two speakers followed and both gave fascinating insights into the progress of the Yorkshire Heart Centre.

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Stacy Hunter

Stacy Hunter, Directorate Manager, Cardiology and Respitory of Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust praised the superb teamwork of the staff in the Yorkshire Heart Centre - from Jim McLenachan and Greg Reynolds, the Clinical Directors, the Matron, Jeanette Metcalf, Business Manager, Tracy Rennard, Cardiac Investigations Manager, Gina McGawley to every member of staff in the Centre who have made 2007-08 a successful year for Cardiology.

Apart from delivering a financial balance which included substantial savings towards the Trust's deficit, all the inpatient services from St James University Hospital had been centralised to the LGI site in November 2007. The cardiac investigation units at St James have also been centralised into one new unit in Chancellor Wing - this was previously in 4 different wings.

The facts and figures which Stacy produced were mind-blowing, but the salient points included: Waiting times for Outpatients has been reduced to under 7 weeks - Inpatients to under 8 weeks, Cardiac Investigations - Echocardiography under 6 weeks, Cardiac MRI under 6 weeks (was 35 weeks) and all other tests at 3 weeks or under.

In 2007-08, the department has done over 24,000 outpatient consultations, over 3000 angioplasty procedures, over 800 pacemaker procedures, nearly 200 implantable defibs, over 1800 angiography procedures and 250 EPS and Ablation procedures.

The workforce has been increased and includes two new Cardiologist appointments, Dr Lee Graham (EPS) and Dr Klaus Witte (Heart Failure and Devices.)

Stacy outlined the developments for 2008-09 and these included: Cardiac MRI - expansion and new types of tests - Deliver on 18 week waiting times (GP referral to treatment) for all patients, Sustain the quality of the service and consinue work on minimising MRSA infections and C Def.

Stacy finished her talk by giving a "huge thankyou" to Take Heart for all their projects this year and said "This allows us to have icing on our cakes which many staff and patients benefit from. Take Heart really is our 'Fairy Godmother!"

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Greg Reynolds

Dr Greg Reynolds, Consultant Cardiologist and Clinical Director of the Yorkshire Heart Centre gave an interesting talk on the progress of the Centre and the evolution of percutanoeus coronary intervention. He said that The Yorkshire Heart Centre has become the centre for all Heart Attack Care throughout West Yorkshire.

Greg gave a fascinating insight on the scale of heart conditions in the population of West Yorkshire and the history of Adult Congenital Heart Care.

He concluded by predicting that over the next ten years, there would be a significant increase in the number of heart patients through the Centre with increasing complexity of treatments offered - particularly with improvements in imaging.

As an example, Greg pointed to PAVR, a new technique to replace Aortic valves via a percutanoeus route rather than open heart surgery. Only about 600 procedures had been done world-wide at the present time, but Leeds has been designated one of four centres in the UK to carry out these procedures. Although these are early days - this started at the end of May - two patients have had it done thus far.

Greg also thanked Take Heart for their ongoing excellent contribution to the Yorkshire Heart Centre.