Independent panel called in to oversee struggling cardiac surgery service

An NHS Improvement oversight body has been called in by a struggling London teaching trust in a bid to improve standards at its cardiac surgery unit.

St George’s University Hospital Trust announced today that the external panel will be brought in to “deal with the long-standing issues” faced by its cardiac surgical service.

The trust’s heart surgery unit has been in the headlines recently: just last week a barred heart surgeon at the trust won the latest stage of her High Court battle after allegations of bullying in the unit. Earlier in August, a leaked report outlined “toxic bickering” between rival camps at the cardiac facility.

Now, St George’s, which was rated as ‘requires improvement’ in its July CQC inspection, has said it has taken the decision to ask NHS Improvement to oversee the work it is doing to improve the service.

Chief executive of the trust Jacqueline Totterdell said the trust “is already taking action” to address the issues within the surgical unit, and noted that they are confident NHS Improvement will provide “further external oversight” of the work being done.

“My priority – and that of the trust board – is to ensure patients receive safe, high quality care at all times – and today’s announcement reinforces that. This remains our focus,” added Totterdell.

“Yesterday, we met with our partners and had extremely helpful discussions on the challenges we face, and next steps to improve cardiac surgery services at St George’s.

“Finally, we remain committed to ensuring our staff have strong and professional working relationships, in a learning environment where they can speak up safely.”

The make-up of the independent panel will be agreed shortly, but will involve senior clinicians and managers from external organisations.

Enjoying NHE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Image credit: Jonathan Stilwell PA


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News


Sneak a peek into the world of risk

19/12/2018Sneak a peek into the world of risk

The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) asked its members what working in ri... more >
The NHS Assembly: A moment to reset

19/12/2018The NHS Assembly: A moment to reset

The development of the NHS long-term plan offers a reset moment: a chance t... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >


How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Gentleness: an underrated quality in effective leadership

14/01/2019Gentleness: an underrated quality in effective leadership

Dean Royles, strategic workforce advisor at Skills for Health and co-author of ‘An Introduction to Human Resource Management,’ returns to write for NHE for hi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar


January 2019

mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10

featured articles

View all News