Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading

The Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest general hospital foundation trusts in the country with over 4,800 staff, 607 acute, 44 paediatrics and 57 maternity post natal beds, 204 day beds, and an annual budget of £290 million. It provides acute medical and surgical services to a population of 500 000 from Reading, Wokingham and West Berkshire, and specialist services to a wider population across Berkshire and its borders. The Cardiac department moved from Battle Hospital to a new purpose-built facility at the Royal Berks site in June 2005.

The 18-bed Cardiac Care Unit accepts all acute cardiac patients and includes an innovative chest pain assessment unit. Cardiology consultants and senior staff provide twice daily ward rounds during the week, with consultant ward rounds and out-of-hours treadmill testing at weekends, and a 24/7 primary angioplasty service.

The “Cardiologist of the week” sees all acute cardiology admissions to the hospital at the point of admission and provides rapid in-patient & urgent out-patient reviews. The non-invasive cardiac labs have treadmill exercise-testing, 5 state-of–the-art echocardiography machines (with TOE, 3D & stress echo), a range of ambulatory monitoring techniques, and a tilt-testing lab. New cardiac MRI & cardiac CT services have been developed over recent years. There are 2 dedicated cardiac catheter laboratories with a 16-bed Day Case Unit for coronary angiography, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), permanent pacemaker implants, ICD & biventricular pacing, electrophysiological testing & ablation. The cardiac catheterisation laboratory performs approx 1400 coronary angiograms, 600 PCIs and 300 pacemaker implants
each year.

The department currently sees approx 120 new referrals per week in general outpatients, 6 rapid-access chest pain clinics, a 4-week post-infarct clinic, a heart failure clinic, a new arrhythmia clinic and satellite clinics in Bracknell, Newbury, Wokingham, Wallingford & Henley-on-Thames.

There is an active program of audit and clinical governance both within the Cardiac department and more widely throughout the Trust and the appointee will be expected to contribute fully to this.

There are currently 3 Thames Valley trainees placed here and their timetable aims to provide a balance between outpatient and inpatient care of Cardiology patients with a commitment to the general medical take. The appointee will become experienced in all routine non-invasive cardiology procedures including transoesophageal echocardiography, permanent pacemaker implantation and cardiac catheterisation,
and expected to achieve the British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) qualification during their time here. The appointee may also have an opportunity to take part in coronary intervention as their invasive skills develop

There are 7 full-time consultant cardiologists with the following sub-specialty

  • Dr Andrew Elkington (echo, cardiac MRI & CT)
  • Dr Charlie McKenna (coronary intervention)
  • Dr Will Orr (coronary intervention)
  • Dr Bhavesh Sachdev (coronary intervention & cardiac CT)
  • Dr Nicos Spyrou (coronary intervention)
  • Dr Jon Swinburn (coronary intervention & complex pacing)
  • Dr Sacha Bull (cardiac imaging)
  • Visiting consultants:
  • Dr Tony Chow (electrophysiology)
  • Mr David Lawrence (cardiac surgery)
  • Dr Elizabeth Orchard (adult congenital heart disease)
  • Dr Oliver Ormerod (adult congenital heart disease)
  • Mr Rana Sayeed (cardiac surgery)