The heart transplant service at the Scottish National Heart Transplant Unit, based at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, has today resumed.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) have been given the go-ahead to restart national heart transplant surgery, after deciding to suspend transplants to allow for an independent external review.
The review, conducted by a team of independent experts from other transplant centres in the UK, began on the 8th of January 2008 and included in-depth interviews with key members of the Glasgow team and a thorough examination of patient records. Following this work the reviewers concluded that the Glasgow team could resume full services with immediate effect.
The full report of the findings of the review will be formally submitted to NHSGGC within the next two weeks.
Mr Andrew Murday, Clinical Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery for the West of Scotland, has welcomed the reviewers’ conclusions. He said: “I and the rest of the team at the Scottish National Heart Transplant Unit are delighted that surgery can now resume. Reviews of transplant centres are not uncommon, the most recent before our own being at Papworth Hospital, nonetheless increases in the number of post-transplant deaths must be thoroughly investigated to reassure that best practice is being achieved. We have already made contact with those Scottish patients on our waiting list and made them aware of reviewers’ conclusions.”
While the review took place patients awaiting transplantation in Scotland were transferred on to the waiting list at the transplant unit of the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
For further information contact the Press Office on 0141 201 4429.
NOTES TO EDITOR
During the review, only heart transplant surgery at the unit was suspended. Organ retrieval, pre-operative assessment and post-operative care all continued to be provided by the Scottish team. All other cardiothoracic work continued as normal.
Routine heart transplantation is reserved for only the sickest patients with heart failure whose quality of life is very poor and who are not expected to survive more than a year on medical treatment.
Please note: Due to surgical commitments Mr Murday will only be available between 3pm and 4pm.
Mr Andrew Murday is available for interview today by arrangement with the Press Office.