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Saturday 26th May 2018

Papworth transplants resume

20th November 2007

Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire has been informed by the Healthcare Commission that it can restart transplant operations after treatment was halted following a rise in death rates.

heart surgery

The hospital raised the alert in October after seven out of twenty patients - who were treated in 2007 - died within 30 days of surgery. The death rate rose to 35% - a significant rise from the rate of 7% in 2005 and 2006.

The hospital informed the government about the rise in deaths and stopped operations while the Commission looked into the issue.

The Commission said the standard of care was high, but inspectors stated they would closely review future performance. It also said the hospital would need to inform patients about the death rates.

The two-week investigation comprised staff interviews, a review of statistical data and medical records.

Papworth's chief executive Stephen Bridge said they would "embrace all its recommendations."

Nigel Ellis, the Healthcare Commission's head of investigations, said the hospital had done well to bring the change to the attention of the authorities.

He said: "I want to be clear that we did not find any evidence of inadequate care, or that the deaths could have been prevented. The quality of care was generally of a high standard."

He added that their recommendations should "reassure the public that everything possible was being done to protect patients" and mentioned that heart transplant operations were by nature a "risky" procedure.

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