HEART patients in Harwich will be less likely to need scans in Colchester after a new service launched this week.

The echocardiography service, which uses ultrasound to diagnose heart problems, will mean fewer patients have to travel to Colchester General Hospital.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Mark Scoote, who works for Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust, is providing the service in conjunction with the trusts’ cardio-respiratory department.

Dr Scoote said: “It is fantastic that we can now offer this service locally, particularly for elderly patients whose heart condition causes distressing and limiting symptoms, such as breathlessness.”