STAFF from the cardiology team at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (RD and E) have completed a massive 42-mile inter-hospital trek across Devon to raise money for a new Cardiology Day Case Unit.

They set off from North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple at 5am on Saturday, September 2, carrying a model heart with them as they walked across the county, arriving at the RD and E some 15 hours later at 7.42pm.

The 15-strong team was joined on route by friends, family and members of the general public, and finished in Exeter with 25 walkers.

Sarah Dale, Clinical Matron for Cardiology, even managed to squeeze in interviews with BBC Radio Devon and BBC Spotlight while on the move.

Sarah said she was proud of the team and their determination to help improve the service for cardiology patients.

“We may be full of aches, pains and blisters but the sense of team spirit that made this possible is just overwhelming,” said Sarah.

“I can’t thank the team and everyone enough for all the support that has been given to us.

“Walking into the main entrance at the RD and E, to see a sea of red tops with one of our patients waiting to receive the heart, and our other patients cheering from their windows, was a wonderful experience.”

Staff are hoping to raise £5,000 to help buy resources for the new unit at Wonford, which treats patients from across Mid, East and North Devon for a wide range of cardiac treatments and investigations such as angiography, pacemakers and ablations.

Sarah said the team has also been asking for feedback from patients to find out what would enhance the patient experience.

“We recognise that this can be a stressful time for our patients and with the money we’re able to raise, our aim is to help make this process as comfortable as possible for them,” she said.

The walk is just one of number of fundraising initiatives planned by the team. They have so far raised £4,674 and if you would like to help them hit their £5,000 target, you can still sponsor them at: .