London heart attack sufferers taken to a specialist cardiac centre have a 60% chance of survival, whereas those taken to an A&E unit only have, at best, a 26% chance of survival: according to unpublished information from the London Ambulance Service.
Experts say that the current provision of cardiac services in north and east London have, "relatively poor patient outcomes in comparison to the rest of England", and suggest that St Bartholomew's Hospital in central London should be transformed into a huge cardiovascular surgery unit, and a hub for a comprehensive network of care, which would embrace GPs and local hospitals.
For years, world-renowned heart surgeon and philanthropist Devi Shetty, has argued that, “One hundred or 200 bed hospitals are not the solution.” Shetty is the founder and chairman of Narayana Health, which boasts Asia’s largest cardiac centre providing world-class cardiac care at affordable prices. “Large specialist cardiac centres, treating high volumes of patients, staffed by specialists and equipped with the latest technology, save lives, reduce complications, lower costs, and are the hospitals of the future,” says Shetty.
Professor Wendler is the Chair of the Heart & Vascular Institute at the Cleveland Clinic in London, where he was appointed in 2018. He qualified, trained and gained substantial experience in Germany before his appointment as Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at King’s College London in 2004. He was Clinical Director for Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery between 2006 and 2012 and promoted Chair of Cardiac Surgery at King's College London in 2012. In June 2012 Professor Wendler was promoted Professor of Cardiac Surgery at King’s College London and since 2013, he is the lead cardiac surgeon in the Clinical Advisory Group of the NHS London Cardiovascular Strategic Clinical Network.
Prof Wendler has a particular surgical and academic interest in arterial coronary bypass surgery, heart valve and aortic root repair, minimally-invasive heart valve surgery, thoracic aortic surgery and repeat and complex cardiac operations. In 2007 Prof Wendler performed the first transapical transcatheter heart valve implantation in the UK, followed by the first implantation in a failing aortic prosthesis (2008) and failing mitral prosthesis (2011).
His special interests are in cardiac surgery, aortic and mitral valve repair, arterial bypass surgery, aortic root surgery, thoracic aortic surgery and transcatheter aortic valve implantation.
A graduate from Hamburg Medical School, Prof Wendler worked as a staff surgeon at the Heart Center Leipzig (Germany) and as a Lead Staff Surgeon in the Cardiothoracic Department of the University Hospital Saarland (Germany). During this time he performed around 2,500 cardiac operations.
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