Updated statement on cardiac surgery at St George’s – Tuesday, 28 August 2018
Today (Tuesday, 28 August), the High Court has granted Professor Marjan Jahangiri, consultant cardiac surgeon, an injunction following our decision on 9 August to temporarily exclude her from working at the Trust.
We are naturally disappointed by the High Court’s decision today, but have begun making the necessary arrangements for Professor Jahangiri to return to work at St George’s.
We would like to stress again that the decision to temporarily exclude Professor Jahangiri was taken for no other reason than because we believed it to be in the best interests of our patients and staff.
The future of cardiac surgery at St George’s
Our priority remains to resolve the systemic problems within our cardiac surgery unit highlighted by Professor Bewick in his independent review of the service, and published on our website last month.
The cardiac surgery service at St George’s is safe, but the problems within the unit are long-standing, and must be resolved – for the benefit of staff, and the communities we serve. Both deserve better, and this is what we are committed to delivering.
Jacqueline Totterdell, Chief Executive, St George’s, said:
“We are disappointed by the judgment issued today, but understand and respect it. We welcome that this ruling is not about guilt or exoneration and the judge made no finding on the facts being investigated. He has said that the exclusion process was not appropriate, but has allowed the Trust to continue its investigation into very serious issues raised.
“The ruling was about procedure and not a finding on the serious underlying issues or facts which we have a duty to investigate. We will continue the investigation to ensure that patient safety, staff wellbeing and NHS resources are protected and accountable”
“It is vital that we ensure that our staff feel able to speak freely to the independent experts we have commissioned to support our work to improve the care we provide and the way our colleagues work in our cardiac surgery service.
“The decisions we take as a Trust and have equally applied in this case are about ensuring we are accountable and have the highest standards of patient care and safety, are for staff wellbeing and to ensure that NHS resources are used effectively and efficiently.
Professor Andrew Rhodes, Medical Director, St George’s, said:
“We continue to strive towards providing the best cardiac surgical care possible for our patients, and carry on with rapid action to implement the recommendations of the Bewick report. As an important part of this, we have commissioned an independent HR expert to work with colleagues in the department and look closely at behaviours to help the Trust understand how best to deal with those issues.”