health

Up to 150 deaths could be investigated amid major review into heart surgery unit


UP TO 150 deaths could be investigated by a coroner amid a major review into a heart surgery unit.

Doctors at St George’s Hospital, south London, expect some cases to be reopened after around 150 people died following heart surgery in the last five years, according to The Times.

 Up to 150 deaths could be investigated amid a major review into heart surgery unit at St George's Hospital in London

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Up to 150 deaths could be investigated amid a major review into heart surgery unit at St George’s Hospital in London

Bereaved relatives have asked Dr Fiona Wilcox, senior coroner for Westminster, to investigate the deaths.

Families became concerned after an internal review reportedly found that surgeon rivalries had contributed to higher death rates.

In a letter to St George’s, Dr Wilcox said: “I understand that from that report that difficulties in the department may have contributed to some post-cardiac surgery deaths.”

She added: “It may be that further investigations and inquests are required.”

 A spokesman for St George’s said: 'we would emphasise that the cardiac surgery service is safe'

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A spokesman for St George’s said: ‘we would emphasise that the cardiac surgery service is safe’

A spokesman for St George’s said: “We have provided the Westminster coroner with the information she has sought and will fully co-operate with her.

“We would emphasise that the cardiac surgery service is safe. The Royal College of Surgeons has stated that the treatment provided at St George’s is within the UK standard and has never been below this.

“We fully agree … that significant improvements are needed, and we are taking urgent actions to deliver this.”

The trust said an external inquiry was not needed because after the internal review the trust was “implementing its findings as rapidly as possible”.



 





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