Heart surgery patients in Southampton have better chance of survival

Heart surgery patients at Southampton’s teaching hospitals have a better chance of surviving planned operations.

The latest National Adult Cardiac Surgery Audit, which collects data on all major heart operations carried out on NHS patients in the UK, showed the cardiac surgery team at Southampton General Hospital is the fifth largest by number of procedures and has one of the lowest risk-adjusted mortality rates in the country.

As part of the analysis, which is managed by the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research, each hospital trust received a percentage score based on how ill patients were, how high-risk their procedures were and how many survived, with the national average at 2.3% deaths.

If the number was lower, it showed a better than average survival rate - and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust's was 1.4%.

The team, which includes six surgeons, had a survival rate significantly higher than expected at 98.6% - against a national average of 97.7% and a predicted score of 97.2% - placing it among the top three highest-performing centres in the UK.

They performed 3,506 non-emergency operations over the three-year audit period, which ran from April 2011 to March 2014.

In addition, the audit highlighted individual surgeon data, with all cardiac surgeons at Southampton General performing better than the national average.

In the previous national audit, which covered the period from April 2010 to March 2013, the team also delivered a survival rate higher than the national average – 98.5% compared to 97.3%.

Clifford Barlow, a consultant cardiac surgeon and audit lead at Southampton General, said: “This is fantastic news for patients coming to Southampton for heart surgery as the audit recognises excellence in survival over a sustained period of time.

“Following a strong performance in the previous three-year audit, we are pleased to have again recorded survival above the national average and we will continue to work hard to ensure we maintain the highest levels of quality and care for our patients at all times.”

Posted on Tuesday 22 September 2015