Health minister to meet leading heart experts in southampton

Health minister Simon Burns will visit University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust tomorrow (Thursday) to meet staff and view innovations in cardiac care.

Mr Burns, whose responsibilities at the Department of Health include performance, reconfiguration and patient safety in the NHS, will meet chief executive Mark Hackett and chairman John Trewby before touring key areas including the cardiac intensive care unit and catheter laboratories.

The visit will also include the formal announcement of Professor Huon Gray, a consultant interventional cardiologist at Southampton General Hospital, as national clinical director for cardiovascular disease at the Department of Health and a presentation about the government's new cardiovascular disease outcomes strategy.

In his role, Professor Gray, who is also a clinical adviser to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and is chairing the development of NICE’s guidelines on STEMI (heart attack), will play a major part in developing the strategy, which aims to improve treatment and care for patients with heart, stroke and circulatory diseases across the country.

“It is a testament to the commitment, dedication and quality of our staff that Southampton is seen as key to future developments in the NHS and I am delighted many of them will have an opportunity to discuss with Mr Burns some of the great innovations they have helped to introduce to ensure our services constantly remain among the best in the country,” said Mr Hackett.

The Wessex Cardiac Unit at Southampton General Hospital is one of the largest in the UK and serves a population of around 2.8 million, covering cardiac and thoracic surgery, cardiac rhythm management, congenital heart disease and vascular surgery.

Posted on Wednesday 28 March 2012