Dr Naqvi makes one last plea for heart unit cash

Dr Anyyar Naqvi
Dr Anyyar Naqvi

A legendary heart doctor is appealing for one final push to help complete the expansion of his beloved Coronary Care Unit (CCU).

Dr Nayyar Naqvi’s Heart Beat 2 appeal has been raising funds for a new discharge lounge at Wigan Infirmary and almost all pieces are in place for the building to start.

But an under-estimation of how much the facility will cost has meant the project is on temporary hold until extra funds can be raised.

Speaking to the Observer, Dr Naqvi explained he has confidence the development could still start on time and will be finished within the next year as he feels his retirement is edging ever closer.

He said: “We’re aiming to start it as soon as things are finalised.

“We are exploring other possibilities (for the funding) but we have received such tremendous support from the people of Wigan and Leigh and we’re asking for one final push. Everything is ready to go and it is just the question of raising a bit more money.

“I only work two days a week now and I’m 71, I was single handed for 12 years (at the start) and we now have nine cardiologists here. One more year is what I would like.

“Things have been developed so much in cardiology and it is becoming hard to keep up with everything that is going on.

“I love my job and I love my patients, I have just seen a patient I first treated in 1983.

“I would love to see (the new facility) finished before I go.”

The new Catheter Laboratory Discharge Lounge funded by the Heart Beat 2 campaign will help patients by providing them with comfort and privacy after they have undergone surgical procedures in the CCU.

Dr Naqvi said patients in the past would have cardiac catheters inserted in the groin area which would mean they would have to recover in a ward bed.

But now the procedure is done through the radial artery in the wrist, meaning recovery can be seated, with the new lounge providing the perfect environment.

Carolyn Dereszkiewicz, matron of cardiology services, said: “We want to resist what Dr Naqvi is talking about at the moment (regarding retiring) but the focus is getting this new fantastic facility finished.

“This whole unit has developed under Dr Naqvi’s wing and now we’re asking for one final push.” To make a donation, please visit the www.wwl.nhs.uk website and click on the Three Wishes Charity logo for instructions.