Patients with suspected heart problems can now be diagnosed and treated much closer to home thanks to a few service introduced by Powys Teaching Health Board.

As well as benefitting patients, there service frees up the time of consultants at district general hospitals to deal with patients who need further intervention or investigation. It also means that Powys can afford better quality cardiology services and invest in providing these with local staff and their skills.

 Dr Graham Thomas, a GP who specialises in cardiology, has joined the health board to head up the Community Cardiology Service team.

 He said: “The service is to improve the experience and treatment for patients. Through the provision of rapid assessment, diagnosis, treatment locally, together with an ongoing referral pathway with neighbouring hospitals for further investigations and intervention, when required, we now have safer systems in place for everyone.”

 Dr Thomas explained: “The service includes a rehabilitation programme for patients with heart failure and other cardiac conditions as well as advice in relation to wellbeing, lifestyle changes and other locally available support services.”

The local team works alongside Aneurin Bevan University Health Board to provide a service at Brecon Hospital and with Hereford County Hospital for Mid Powys patients. Plans are in place to roll out a service for the Llandrindod area and to further support the Brecon based service.