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Harefield Hospital cleared over heart transplant deaths

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An independent review has cleared the world famous Harefield Hospital of any deficiencies in the care given to its heart transplant patients following a higher than expected death rate.

The review was triggered in October when the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust notified authorities that four consecutive patients had died within 30 days of undergoing a heart transplant at the London hospital.

A detailed investigation, carried out by a surgeon and cardiologist on behalf of the NHS National Commissioning Group and the Healthcare Commission, concluded that heart transplant recipients at the Harefield had a higher risk profile than other UK centres.

Nigel Ellis, the Commission’s head of investigations, said: ‘This was a thorough and independent review carried out by experts in the field. We are satisfied that their findings are fair and robust. We note that the review did not find evidence of deficiencies in the care given to patients or that the deaths could have been prevented.’

The findings echo a recent review of transplant services at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire which also experienced a high number of deaths over a seven-month period. Click here to read the story.

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