BASINGSTOKE hospital may not be able to provide a service for patients with heart conditions, because its cardiac catheter lab is at 'risk of failure'.

A report to Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s (HHFT) Board of Directors details various risks across its three hospitals, with the cath lab failure being one of them.

A cath lab is an examination room or clinic with diagnostic imaging equipment used to look at the arteries of the heart and the chambers of the heart, and to treat any stenosis or abnormalities found.

The HHFT report said: “If the cath lab fails then we will not be able to provide a cardiac cath lab service for our population.”

It added: “The cath lab requires significant capital spend which has not yet been identified, although emergency capital funds have been requested.”

The trust’s website states that the lab is based in Basingstoke hospital’s Sherborne Building, and provides “gold standard treatment for heart attack patients” as one of the first in the UK to provide this service.

It is said to have a “state of the art cardiac catheter lab”.

Another risk identified by the trust, which runs Basingstoke and Andover hospitals, as well as Winchester hospital, was regarding the response to Covid-19, with the report stating: “If there is not an effective response to Covid-19 then we will not be able to provide safe, effective care to our patients.”

It also referred to not booking follow up appointments for patients, and the “risk” this poses to patient outcomes.

The final risk related to the emergency department, stating: “If we do not have sufficient capacity in the emergency department as attendances increase, then we will not be able to provide the right care for patients.”

A HHFT spokesperson said: "Hampshire hospitals has an on-going programme of capital investment across its services and sites; one aspect of which is the cardiac catheter lab at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital.

“Although we – like every NHS organisation – are operating under significant financial pressures we are actively working to secure funding to invest in this important service.

“In the meantime the lab continues to operate as normal and to the same high standards our patients have rightly come to expect from our fantastic cardiology team with robust contingency plans in place for all eventualities.”