ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) service recognised as 'platinum' centre of excellence

The Trust’s ECMO services were highly praised at the Extracorporeal Life Support Organisation (ELSO) awards for Excellence in Life Support.

Harefield Hospital was presented with the silver award, and Royal Brompton Hospital received the prestigious platinum award. This certification is the highest distinction given by ELSO, with Royal Brompton being the only commissioned centre in England to achieve it.

The Trust’s ECMO service, one of only five ECMO centres for adult severe acute respiratory failure (SARF) in England, also provides paediatric care and both were recognised as outstanding by ELSO.

A redesign of the service in 2016/17, supported by colleagues at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, increased capacity and encouraged greater multi-disciplinary collaboration across sites. Such a range of expertise and streamlined planning helped to inform decision-making which, ultimately, benefited patients.

This led to a 60 per cent increase in referrals within the first year alone, offering highly specialised life support techniques to more patients than ever before. Having gone from strength to strength, the service has expanded even further to provide more cardiac ECMO for patients suffering cardiogenic shock (a condition where the heart is suddenly unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs).

Dr Stéphane Ledot, consultant in critical care and anaesthetics, and Royal Brompton’s severe acute respiratory failure and ECMO lead, said:

“It’s fantastic news that our ECMO programme has been recognised with this award. This is thanks to the team’s hard work developing our services over the last few years to deliver the best possible care for our patients.”

Vicky Scollen, staff nurse on the adult intensive care unit, using the ECMO equipment

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