Better deal for patients as Manchester cardiac services join forces

18 May 2014

Manchester will become one of the country’s leading centres for heart surgery and cardiology services under a bold initiative announced today by two of the city’s leading teaching hospitals.

The Boards of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) and University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM) have signed Heads of Terms to develop a single cardiac service providing care for patients in Greater Manchester and the North West. The Trusts have an existing collaboration with The University of Manchester focusing on research into cardiovascular health as part of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) partnership. 
Over the coming months a team from both hospital Trusts, in conjunction with Professor Ian Jacobs, MAHSC Director and Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at The University of Manchester, will develop the partnership with the overall aim of developing a world leading centre which will improve the cardiac health of the people of Greater Manchester and the wider North West whilst also undertaking cutting edge research.  This commitment to forming a partnership is underlined by the appointment of leading cardiologist Professor Bill McKenna*, who will lead the programme of work to bring the two services together.
Mike Deegan, Chief Executive at CMFT, believes that both sites already carry out world-class heart surgery and cardiac interventions which benefit thousands of patients every year. He explains: “We believe that by combining our strengths and working as a single team, supported by high quality research, we could become one of the country’s leading cardiac centres.  
We each excel in different ways - for example, whilst CMFT is recognised for surgery and care of patients with congenital heart defects, UHSM is renowned for its transplant surgery.
Attila Vegh, UHSM’s Chief Executive, adds: “We have undisputed reputations at both hospitals for the quality of our work and the outcomes for our patients. Our conversations now will be around how we can leverage our respective strengths in service provision, research and education for the benefit of patients.”
Professor Jacobs explains: “Recent reports have highlighted the North/South divide in health outcomes in the UK. People in our region have a shorter life expectancy and are likely to suffer more from heart disease than in many other parts of the UK. This initiative will help to improve the health of our local population and to continue building the research excellence of the University’s Institute of Cardiovascular sciences to ensure that Manchester becomes a world leading centre for clinical care and research in heart disease.
“I am delighted that MAHSC and The University of Manchester have played a key role in facilitating this agreement between two major NHS hospital Trusts.”

Notes for editors

For more information, please contact: Sarah Glenister Communications Specialist Manchester Academic Health Science Centre 

Tel: +44(0)161 701 0435 (Mon, Tues, Fri); or +44 (0)161 306 1695 (Wed, Thurs) 
*As Cardiovascular Programme Director for University College London Partners, an academic health science centre, Professor McKenna has been instrumental in the merging of cardiac services between Barts Health NHS Trust and University College London Hospitals NHS Trust.
MAHSC (the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre) is a partnership between The University of Manchester and six NHS organisations. Our NHS partners are some of the most highly rated NHS Trusts in the country, and The University of Manchester is one of the top three UK research universities (RAE 2008). We are proud to be one of only six centres in the country currently designated as an AHSC. AHSC designation recognises excellence across research, innovation, education and patient service, and in particular the potential to excel in translational medicine. Through partnership with the GM AHSN, MAHSC acts as a beacon within the local health system, providing clinical leadership and helping health care organisations reap the benefits of research and innovation to drive improvements in care.