Planning permission to upgrade The Heart Centre at the Cumberland Infirmary has been granted.
The £3.4m upgrade project will provide two brand new state of the art catheter labs and a renovated ward area.
Dr Louise Buchanan, Associate Medical Director for Medicine said: “All patients across north Cumbria who need emergency treatment for a severe heart attack or who need specialist cardiac treatment are supported by The Heart Centre.
“There are more than 2000 procedures (both planned and emergency) carried out each year there.
“The treatments include coronary angiography, in which x-ray is used to obtain images of the heart arteries and percutaneous coronary intervention, a procedure that can be used to unblock a blood vessel and implant a stent to keep the artery open.
“There is currently only one catheter laboratory in The Heart Centre that can be used to carry out all these services.
“The extra lab will mean that there will be less impact on planned procedures should a patient need emergency care.
“This will improve patient experience and increase the numbers of patients who can be treated in a more timely way.”
Before the introduction of the specialist heart service in 2011 many patients had to travel to Newcastle or Middlesbrough for treatment and therefore investment to ensure the service remains fit for purpose for the communities of north Cumbria was important.
Preliminary work to start refurbishment to the ward area has already started and work to upgrade the power supply to The Heart Centre has already started.
This will cause some disruption to the roundabout at the front of the hospital. Access will remain and traffic management will be in place for around five weeks.