St George's Hospital, London Suspends Complex Heart Surgery

Nicky Broyd

September 10, 2018

St George's Hospital in London has suspended complex planned and emergency cardiac surgery.

The hospital has been in the news because of an alleged dispute between surgeons that may have contributed to a higher mortality rate, and because  one consultant was suspended, a decision that was overturned  by a High Court judge.

Today the hospital trust issued a statement to patients on its website saying: "You may have heard about improvements we are making to fix some long-standing issues within our cardiac surgery service at St George's Hospital.

"To help us do this, we have taken the decision today to temporarily transfer the operations of a small number of patients requiring the most complex cardiac surgery to other London hospitals."

The statement continued: "This will give us the space to make the improvements to the service we all want to see. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but would like to stress that all cardiac surgery operations will continue to be carried out by experienced and skilled cardiac surgeons, with the support of a multi-disciplinary team."

'Safe and Effective Care'

Chief executive, Jacqueline Totterdell, said: "We have taken this decision to maintain patient safety, and to protect the long-term future of our cardiac surgery service.

"We are determined to resolve the serious issues in cardiac surgery identified by Professor Mike Bewick in his independent review – and this remains our focus. We also have to listen to our staff, and ensure the safety of our patients is protected at all times.

"Finally, I would like to apologise to the very small number of patients for whom today's decision may naturally cause some concern.

"However, I would like to stress that all cardiac surgery patients – wherever they are treated – will continue to receive safe and effective care."


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