Review into cardiac surgery deaths at St George’s Hospital

23 January 2019

Information for our patients, relatives and members of the public

A review of patients who died following cardiac surgery at St George’s Hospital between 2013 and 2018 is being carried out. The review will examine the deaths of patients who underwent cardiac surgery at the Trust between April 2013 and September 2018.

The review has been commissioned by NHS Improvement, a healthcare regulator, and is being carried out by an independent panel of cardiac surgery, cardiology and anaesthetic consultants.

The panel will examine the medical records of between 200-250 deceased cardiac surgery patients, and take between 6-12 months to complete their review.

This webpage has been created to provide current patients, relatives and members of the public with further information about the review – we hope you find it helpful.

Why has a review of cardiac surgery deaths at St George’s been commissioned?

The review is designed to examine the safety and quality of care that patients who died during or after cardiac surgery at St George’s received between April 2013 and September 2018.

These dates have been chosen because – between April 2013 and March 2017 – the cardiac surgery service at St George’s was found to have a statistically higher mortality (death) rate when compared with other UK centres.

The independent panel will also – for completeness – review deaths between April 2017 and 1 September 2018, a period during which improvements were being introduced by the Trust to improve services for cardiac surgery patients.

The cardiac surgery service at St George’s is safe

We would like to stress that the cardiac surgery service at St George’s is safe.

The review of deaths will have no negative impact on the current cardiac surgery service our teams are providing – and patients should continue to attend for appointments, tests and operations as they do currently.

We would also like to make clear that the mortality review only applies to cardiac surgery at St George’s. It doesn’t apply to any associated specialities (e.g. cardiology or radiology).

Will the relatives of deceased patients be contacted?

The review has now started, and is expected to take between 6 and 12 months to complete.

The panel is likely to review between 200-250 deaths during this period.

We will be contacting the next of kin of all patients included in the review over the coming weeks.

Further information

We hope you find the information on this webpage helpful.

However, if you are the relative of a cardiac surgery patient who died between April 2013 and 1 September 2018 and would like to speak to someone, please telephone 07775 626 256.

All calls will be handled confidentially and sensitively. The calls will be answered by a member of our cardiac surgery senior nursing team, and please leave a voicemail with your name and contact details if it goes to voicemail.

If you are a current patient who wants to discuss aspects of their care, please use the contact details on your appointment letter as normal, or speak to our Patient Advice and Liaison Team (PALS).

Journalists with media enquiries should contact the hospital press office on 020 8266 6128 or email communications@stgeorges.nhs.uk