Following reports that poor communication and team work in a toxic work environment characterised by rows between surgeons have adversely affected patient survival rates, patients in need of complex heart operations are been transferred away from st George’s Hospital in Tooting.
As clinical negligence solicitors we see too often how system failures and toxic working environments can increase incidence of poor communication and result in substandard treatment.
The suspension of complicated heart surgery at the london hospital is intended to help improve patient safety whilst improvements are made.
The decision to transfer as many as 100 patients to protect their welfare and help to increase the likelihood of good surgical outcomes should be welcomed, but needs to be part of a wider series of steps to ensure structural and systemic problems are fully addressed.
In August a leaked report suggested a "toxic" row between surgeons at the cardiac unit contributed to a higher mortality rate.