‘Inspiring’ new radiology suite opens at Kent and Canterbury Hospital

Dr Rob Kaikini and Mr Les Tomes

Published 11 May 2022

A brand new, state-of-the-art interventional radiology centre at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital is ‘inspiring’, according to the first patient to be treated there.

Retired oil industry worker Leslie Tomes, 75, was the first person to experience the purpose-built theatre suite when he had an operation to open blocked arteries in his leg.

He returned to help open the unit, alongside East Kent Hospitals’ chief executive Tracey Fletcher, on Wednesday.

Mr Tomes, who lives in Whitstable, had a previous procedure in the old facilities and said the difference was staggering.

He said: “The unit is inspiring. It really turns heads; it’s light and airy and clearly well designed.

“The theatre is just two double doors away from the waiting area – previously I had to go on what felt like a tortuous route into a bit of a dungeon.

“The technology was amazing – I could see clearly exactly where the blockages were and then how the blood was flowing perfectly after the procedure.”

Dr Robert Kaikini, the Trust’s lead doctor for Interventional Radiology, performed Mr Tomes’ operation said: “This world-class facility will hugely expand the possibilities for treating patients in east Kent.

“We will be able to treat older and more frail patients for whom conventional surgery may not be an option. We will also be able to target their disease precisely, resulting in fewer complications, less time in hospital and a faster recovery for our patients.”

The £4.5million interventional radiology centre provides minimally invasive image-guided procedures to diagnose and treat a range of diseases, and the first phase includes a state-of-the-art procedure room, day-case unit, and recovery and anaesthetic rooms.

It means teams can treat more patients for a wider range of conditions including blood clots, severe internal bleeding, ruptured aneurysms and cancer.

The second phase will see the refurbishment of the endovascular theatre at the hospital and is due to be completed this autumn.