Joint RCS and SCTS response to GIRFT cardiothoracic report

April 11, 2018

The GIRFT cardiothoracic surgery national report has been published today. The report’s author says cardiothoracic proposals promise less delays and more successful outcomes for patients.

Responding to the report’s recommendations, the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), together with the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (SCTS), said:

“Patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery are some of the most ill that the NHS cares for, suffering conditions such as heart valve disease, lung cancer and blocked arteries.

“Cardiothoracic surgeons have pioneered the collection and publication of clinical outcomes data and since monitoring and publishing survival rates for adult cardiac surgery, we have seen a progressive improvement in outcomes. Survival rates for patients having cardiothoracic surgery in the UK are now amongst the best in the world.

“With the far wider range of clinical and process measures that are now available as a result of the GIRFT report, cardiothoracic units can now benchmark performance against the national average, a powerful tool for continued improvements in services to patients.  As an example, the report suggests that more efficient bed management for cardiothoracic patients will help reduce delays, cancellations and long stays in hospital.

“SCTS and the RCS strongly support the report’s recommendation that certain conditions, such as aortovascular surgery for aorta rupture, and mitral valve surgery, must be treated by surgeons who are specialists in these areas. We also support GIRFT’s recommendation on the greater use of minimally invasive thoracic surgery for the treatment of early stage lung cancers.

“We now urge the NHS to act upon the recommendations made in this report.”


Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

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