New specialist heart centre at Barts Hospital officially open

15th May 2015

The new £234million Barts Heart Centre in Smithfield, London has been officially opened.

The specialist heart centre, formed from its merger with services from the London Chest Hospital and the Heart Hospital, will treat approximately 80,000 patients a year and will save thousands of lives, says its executive director Professor Charles Knight.  

By bringing together cardiac services onto one site, it has created the UK’s largest heart centre, and the biggest centre of excellence for adults with congenital heart disease.

The facilities include ten theatres, ten catheter labs, 250 general cardiac beds and 58 critical care beds, where staff will perform more heart surgery and cardiac procedures than any other centre in Europe.  

More than 1,000 lives a year could be saved by giving patients world-class care at every stage – from prevention and diagnosis, through to treatment and beyond, says the hospital in a statement.

Evidence shows that dedicated specialist centres, treating a high volume of patients, staffed by expert teams and equipped with the latest technology and research capability save lives and reduce complications.

The new Barts Centre welcomed its first patients in September for cardiac MRI scans. The transition of services from the London Chest Hospital and Heart Hospital means it can now start to treat patients through procedures such as heart bypass and aortic valve surgery.

Professor Knight said: “Following the successful transition of services, we are delighted to say that the Barts Heart Centre is now open for business, and primed to start delivering innovative and compassionate care to our patients.

“It is a well-established fact that patients receive better care and treatment in centres of excellence.

"The new heart centre will embody that principle by providing world-class cardiovascular care to patients in London and its surrounding areas.

“While our patients will now be treated in brand new state-of-the-art facilities, the redeployment of staff from the London Chest and the Heart Hospital means our patients now have access to specialist multidisciplinary teams all operating under the one centre.”

More than 150 patients suffering a heart attack or a more serious cardiac arrest have been treated at the centre since it began receiving emergencies on April 14.

Professor Knight said: “This is the first time we have got the opportunity for a proper cardiac arrest centre. Now we have cardiac surgeons, anaesthetists, electrophysiologists and interventionists all under one roof."