St George's Hospital suspends complex heart surgery

Complex heart operations at a London hospital will be moved elsewhere for "improvements to be made", bosses say.

About 100 people will be affected by the plan to transfer complex procedures from St George's Hospital in Tooting to other hospitals in the capital.

In August a leaked report suggested a "toxic" row between surgeons at the cardiac unit contributed to a higher mortality rate.

Managers said the plan would "give us the space to make the improvements."

The hospital carries out about 1,000 cardiac operations every year.

Both planned and emergency complex cases will be affected by the temporary decision, but routine cardiac surgery will carry on at the hospital as normal.

The decision has been made "in response to feedback from clinicians working in the service" and "to protect the best interests of our cardiac surgery trainees," the hospital said.

NHS Improvement will oversee the actions taken by the hospital and will set up an independent panel to provide oversight of its actions.

Chief Executive Jacqueline Totterdell said the plan had been made "to maintain patient safety, and to protect the long-term future of our cardiac surgery service."

"The events of recent days and weeks have put enormous stress on the service, and staff working in it, and it is important we take the appropriate action now to ensure the long term future of cardiac surgery at the Trust."
London Tooting
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