Fitzwilliam’s Advancements in Cardiology: Innovations and Improvements

Fitzwilliam Hospital’s cardiology service, the branch of medicine concerned with the heart and its disorders, is witnessing rapid advancements and innovations. From diagnostic tools to preventative measures, Fitzwilliam aims to offer its patients the latest developments that are shaping the field of cardiology.


Fitzwilliam’s cardiology service is now available

  • Cardiac Ultrasound Test

    Cardiac ultrasound, also called echocardiography or echo, has traditionally been used in outpatients at the Fitzwilliam Hospital for cardiac monitoring. Now, with an additional ultrasound scanner suitable for echos, patients are able to offer scanning for cardiac diagnostics too.

    Echocardiography is non-invasive and painless. It provides detailed real-time images of the heart’s chambers, valves, and surrounding structures, vital for assessing how they are working. Echo monitors long-term cardiovascular conditions like heart failure and valve disease to facilitate treatment plan adjustments and timely intervention as required. Additionally, echo can diagnose a wide range of cardiac conditions, including valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathies, and congenital heart defects.

    With a nationwide backlog in echo referrals, Fitzwilliam Hospital has invested in a cutting-edge ultrasound scanner. This scanner offers fast, precise imaging, improved probes, and advanced computer technology, boosting diagnostic confidence and improving patient care.

  • Expansion of Cardiac Physiologist ServicesTo meet the growing demand for cardiac services, Fitzwilliam Hospital has recruited a new cardiac physiologist, Mrs Alison Anslow. A cardiac physiologist specialises in diagnosing and treating heart conditions. Mrs Ainslow performs a range of tests and procedures to assess heart function, including electrocardiograms (ECGs). She analyses the results and works closely with our cardiologists to develop treatment plans for patients. She also performs echocardiograms before surgery if patients have a serious heart condition or symptoms of heart disease, to check their risks of surgery and anaesthetic.
  • Cardiac Monitoring Innovation with the ZIO PatchIf your heart beats too slow, too fast, or with an irregular beat, it is known as an arrhythmia.

    Traditional cardiac monitoring methods, such as wearing a monitor with leads around the neck, are being replaced by a more discreet and comfortable option to alleviate cumbersome problems for patients.

    The Zio patch, a small wearable device, sticks to a patient’s chest and monitors their heart rhythm for up to 14 days. Patients wear it comfortably while sleeping, showering, and exercising. It can simply be applied at home by the patient, removed after their prescribed wear time, and sent back to the hospital for analysis. A clear and complete heart rhythm report is then available for the cardiologist to make a diagnosis and create a care plan.

    This patient-centred innovation not only improves patient comfort but also saves time and resources for both patients and healthcare providers. Fitzwilliam’s Cardiologist, Dr Rebecca Schofield, offers the ZIO patch for her self-referring patients and is hoping to have it available for insured patients soon.


What’s on the horizon for Fitzwilliam’s cardiology services?

  •  Lifestyle Prescribing for Cardiovascular WellnessRecognising the importance of lifestyle factors in cardiovascular health, Dr Rebecca Schofield is developing her practice to include lifestyle prescribing. Lifestyle prescribing, also known as lifestyle medicine, is the prescription of lifestyle changes to improve a patient’s overall health, promote wellness, prevent or manage chronic diseases, and reduce the need for medication. It focuses on four pillars of lifestyle: movement, sleep, relaxation, and nutrition.UK-certified lifestyle prescriber, Dr Schofield, says “Lifestyle prescribing at Fitzwilliam Hospital is on the horizon. I will prescribe personal interventions tailored to individual patient’s needs and preferences. They will address the root cause of health issues rather than just treating symptoms. Lifestyle prescription aims to prevent cardiovascular diseases and promote lifelong wellness. “ This service will also serve patients who want advice on how to change their lifestyle if they have had genetic testing or lifestyle risk tests.
  • Advanced Lipid AssessmentBy using advanced lipid assessments, healthcare providers can better understand patients' cholesterol levels, which are closely linked to heart health. They can then recommend lifestyle changes, medications, or other interventions to help manage lipid levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems. A lipid assessment, also known as a lipid profile, is a blood test that measures the levels of various types of fats (lipids) in the bloodstream. These fats include cholesterol and triglycerides.Lipid assessments provide valuable information about a person's risk of developing cardiovascular disease. High levels of certain lipids, particularly LDL cholesterol (often referred to as "bad" cholesterol), can contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.Dr Rebecca Schofield advises that this service will be available at Fitzwilliam Hospital within the next six months.
  • Expanding Cardiac DiagnosticsIn addition to traditional diagnostic methods, such as angiograms, cardiac diagnostics are evolving to include more non-invasive options. CT scans, for example, can provide detailed images of arteries without the need for invasive procedures, offering better-quality pictures and enhancing diagnostic accuracy.Again, this cardiac service is planned to be available at Fitzwilliam Hospital soon.
  • Integration of Wellness ChecksWellness checks are becoming an integral part of cardiac care, allowing for proactive assessment and intervention. As part of lung cancer screening programmes, patients meeting the criteria are referred for a wellness check that includes assessments for coronary calcification. This enables early detection and intervention for patients with lung cancer and heart disease risk factors.This service is planned to be available at Fitzwilliam Hospital soon.


These improvements in heart services at the Fitzwilliam Hospital highlight how its cardiology team are committed to adopting the latest techniques and advancements.

Their goal is to enhance patient outcomes and effectively address the changing needs of the community they serve.

For more information on the Fitzwilliam cardiac service call 01733 842304 or click here.