A report published by London Ambulance Service (LAS) shows that the catheter lab at St George’s Hospital, Tooting, is achieving the best survival rates in London.

St George’s Hospital is one of eight designated Heart Attack Centres in the capital, home to a state-of-the-art catheter lab which is used to perform lifesaving angioplasty for patients suffering cardiac arrest and other serious heart conditions. 72.4% of patients suffering from cardiac arrest* who were brought directly to the catheter lab at St George’s Hospital survived, according to the Cardiac Arrest Annual Report 2011/12. The overall survival rate for patients taken to any Heart Attack Centre in London was 63.3%.

Angioplasty is a procedure where a catheter is inserted into an artery where a blockage is causing the heart attack. A small balloon is inflated to open the artery and a tiny tube called a stent is then inserted to keep the artery open. Angioplasty is recognised as the best possible treatment for a heart attack.

Pitt Lim, consultant cardiologist and clinical lead for cardiac intervention at St George’s Hospital, said: “This report clearly demonstrates that patients suffering a heart attack have a much higher chance of survival when they are taken directly to a Heart Attack Centre with a modern catheter lab. We provide one of the most effective cardiac intervention services in the country and a 24/7 enhanced heart attack service which saves many lives each year.

“We work hard to develop our staff, who are among the most skilled in London; they are motivated and strive to push boundaries in patient care. Outcomes for cardiac patients at St George’s are excellent and this is all thanks to the specialist team approach and advanced facilities we have.”

The Heart Attack Centre at St George’s Hospital was also acknowledged as having the best response rate for treating heart attack patients in London in the 2011 Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINAP), published by the Royal College of Physicians.

Notes to editors

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St George’s Hospital is one of the biggest and busiest of the eight specialist heart attack centres in the capital, serving the southwest London population and, since March 2011, patients from across east Surrey. It provides emergency care, diagnosis, medical treatment and outpatient services for all heart disorders. This includes heart attacks, heart failure, heart valve disease, heart muscle disease, congenital heart defects, high blood pressure and arrhythmia (irregular heart beat). The hospital is the heart attack centre for southwest London, providing a 24-hour emergency angioplasty service, enabling life-saving treatment to be given to heart attack patients.

The other heart attack centres are: Barts and The London (The London Chest Hospital), Harefield Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital, King’s College Hospital, Royal Free Hospital, St Thomas’ Hospital, University College London Hospital.

Read more about the LAS Cardiac Arrest Annual Report 2011/12 online

*Statistics relate to patients suffering a cardiac arrest outside of hospital (for instance, at home, at their GP surgery or in public) only.

About St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust

  • St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest healthcare providers in southwest London. Its main site, St George’s Hospital in Tooting – one of the country’s principal teaching hospitals – is shared with St George’s, University of London, which trains medical students and carries out advanced medical research. As well as acute hospital services, the trust provides a wide variety of specialist and community hospital based care and a full range of community services to children, adults, older people and people with learning disabilities. These services are provided from Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, 11 health centres and clinics, schools and nurseries, patients’ homes and Wandsworth Prison.
  • St George’s Hospital, Tooting, is one of London’s four major trauma centres. In 2011/12 the emergency department at St George’s Hospital treated an average 447 patients each day, with 95.06 per cent of patients being admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.
  • St George’s Hospital is one of eight hyper acute stroke units in London. The trust’s stroke services were rated as the best in the country by the National Sentinel Audit 2010, and in the top four in 2011.
  • St George’s Hospital has one of the biggest and busiest of the eight heart attack centres in London. The heart attack centre at St George’s Hospital was rated as having the best response rate for treating heart attack patients in London in the 2012 Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINAP).
  • The trust is an accredited centre of excellence for trauma, neurology, cardiology and cancer services, and the national centre for family HIV care and bone marrow transplantation for non-cancer diseases.
  • In 2011 the trust was named by the Dr Foster report for the Department of Health in the group of trusts with the lowest mortality rates in the country. The trust was one of only 14 in the country to have statistically significant lower than expected mortality rates.
  • The trust passed all national cancer treatment and diagnosis targets in 2011/12, improving the prospects for thousands of cancer patients.
  • In April 2012 the trust reported its lowest ever infection rates, with a 95 per cent reduction in MRSA over the last five years and only one MRSA bacteraemia (blood stream) infection in 2011/12.
  • The 2011 Care Quality Commission (CQC) national inpatient survey has confirmed that the trust is achieving results expected of a major healthcare provider, ranking ‘about the same’ as similar trusts in the country in all 77 survey questions.
  • The trust has returned a financial surplus for the last five years and has no historic debt. This has allowed the trust to invest in front line services and estate and facilities development, including the recent redevelopment of the A&E unit, the opening of a state-of-the-art regional breast cancer screening centre, and the development of a new pre-operative care centre. The trust is also developing state-of-the-art neurorehabilitation services at St George’s and Queen Mary’s Hospitals.