St George’s Hospital, Tooting, has the best response rate for treating heart attack patients in London, according to the latest Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINAP) which was discussed at the MINAP London Roadshow in November 2011.

The annual study looked at data from April 2010 – March 2011 and found that St George’s had the best ‘call to balloon’ rate; treating 90% of patients in under 150 minutes.

The ‘call-to-balloon’ time is from when the patient makes the emergency call, to the time that their emergency surgery is completed in hospital. The current standard for this is 150 minutes.

St George’s 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.

Dr Pitt Lim, consultant cardiologist and clinical lead for cardiac intervention, said: “A heart attack occurs when a coronary artery is blocked by clots. Time to treatment is critical, as any delay in treatment means loosing heart muscle, resulting in death or heart failure. We are continuing to improve our service and in July 2011 we set up an enhanced specialist heart attack team. This allows us to treat the sickest heart attack patients, for example those who have suffered cardiac arrest at home, enabling them to be taken straight to the operating theatre on arrival at the hospital, bypassing the A&E department and therefore reducing the time it takes to start treatment”.

St George’s Hospital has one of the largest cardiology units in the country. 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.

91-year-old Phyllis Hillsley was brought into the hospital after suffering a heart attack. She was swiftly treated by the specialist heart attack team for her blocked artery and was discharged after nine days in hospital. She said: “The care I received was excellent – I couldn’t have asked for better. They new exactly what was wrong with me and treated me immediately. All the staff were so helpful.”

The MINAP report is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and is run by the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research (NICOR), part of the National Centre for Cardiovascular disease Prevention and Outcomes within the University College London Institute of Cardiovascular Science.

Notes to editors

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