This era begins at a time when specialisation in the hospital had already begun to take off. The hospital's first ICU opened in 1964 as did the Metabolic/Endocrine Unit, the Respiratory Physiology Unit and the Rheumatology Unit. The first cardioplumonary bypass operation was carried out in December, 1964. Gastroenterology services commenced in 1966.
A coronary care unit was opened in Ward 22 in 1967. For the first time, patients with acute coronary syndromes were intensively monitored.
The Renal Unit was also formed in 1967 and shared beds with Cardiology in Ward 22.
Ron Easthope joined the full-time senior staff in 1969, giving much needed relief to the workload of Peter Leslie who had hitherto run the coronary care unit alone. David McHaffie joined the team in 1978, and Richard Thompson a year later.
The first coronary cineangiogram was performed in 1969, and the first coronary artery bypass graft operation in 1972. These milestones marked the beginning of a major change in the balance of case load in both services.
The arrival of M-mode echocardiography in 1972 and 2D echocardiography with simple doppler in 1983 saw a significant improvement in diagnostic capability. In time this would reduce the numbers of patients with valve disease or suspected congenital heart lesions requiring invasive diagnostic procedures.
In 1985 we said goodbye to Ponty Hallwright who retired after thirty years involvement in the Hypertension Clinic and in the Cardiology Department.