As recently reported by the BBC, the deaths of up to 250 patients who died following heart surgery at St George’s Hospital in Tooting are to be reviewed. The surgeries in question took place between April 2013 and September 2018.
The study is being commissioned by NHS Improvement and comes after the hospital suspended complex heart surgery just last year to improve services. The Trust has said families of cardiac surgery patients who died during the review period will be contacted if the panel identifies “any significant concerns about their care”. The panel will examine the safety and quality of care that the patients received. The review process will take between six and twelve months to complete and is being conducted by a panel of independent cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and anaesthetic consultants.
A leaked report had previously suggested that poor relationships between surgeons in the cardiac unit was a contributing factor in its high mortality rate, compared to other Trusts.
In December 2018, the Care Quality Commission inspectors reported that they had found doctors in the unit with “strong personalities” mistrusted each other and were unable to work together effectively.
The Trust has already looked to make improvements in services for cardiac surgery patients. Jacqueline Totterdale, Chief Executive at St George’s Health Care NHS Trust, said that “it is absolutely essential that patients and their families have full confidence in the care our cardiac team provide.” She added that the review “will be a key part of that process.”
Moosa-Duke Solicitors are specialists in clinical negligence law. If you believe that you or a family member have been a victim of negligence, due to private or NHS treatment, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0116 254 7456 to discuss your concerns.