A LEADING heart hospital has defended the quality of its surgery after figures appeared to show high mortality rates.
According to the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (SCTS), the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank, near Glasgow, had a 4.14 per cent death rate for heart surgery patients between 2008 and 2011.
But the hospital said a mistake was made when submitting their data, meaning emergency operations were included when these should have been taken out. When they were removed, the figures put them within expected levels.
Almost 4,000 heart operations were performed at the hospital during the three-year period. According to the SCTS, only Harefield Hospital and Imperial College, both in London, had higher mortality rates.
Two other Scottish hospitals were audited, recording a 3.37 per cent death rate at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and 3.06 per cent at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
Yesterday a spokesman for the Golden Jubilee said their audit data submitted to SCTS included emergency procedures which should not have been analysed. It said its own review recorded a 3.9 per cent mortality rate for the same period, which was within expected levels. The mortality rate now stands at just more than 2 per cent.
A statement said: “The data originally submitted for analysis to the SCTS was found to contain emergency procedures which should have been excluded. Once this was corrected, it changed the overall adjusted mortality for the period to 3.9 per cent. This is within the spread of other UK units and not higher than expected by UK standards.
“To ensure continuous improvement, we conducted an internal review which resulted in improvements over a number of key interrelated areas. As a result of this, mortality fell steadily across the years 2008 to 2012 and has continued to fall.”