HEART surgery patients undergoing planned operations in Southampton have the best chance of surviving in the country, latest figures have revealed.

The latest Blue Book Online report shows that the adult cardiac surgery team at Southampton General Hospital carries out the sixth-most procedures and more importantly, has the lowest risk-adjusted mortality rate.

The report also looked at individual surgeon data and all four Southampton surgeons are in the top 12 in terms of number of cases performed and their mortality rates, which are all lower than the national average.

It comes as a huge boost to the hospital as adult services will now be looked at when it comes to deciding which children’s heart units will remain open, after the secretary of state suspended the initial decision earlier this month.

As part of the analysis by the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery, each hospital trust received a percentage score based on how ill patients were, how high-risk their procedures were and how many survived, with the national average at 2.74 per cent deaths.

If the number was lower, it showed a better than average survival rate and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s was 1.48 per cent.

This means a survival rate of 98.52 per cent, which is the best in the UK.

The adult cardiac surgery team, which consists of four surgeons – Sunil Ohri, Geoff Tsang, Steve Livesey and Clifford Barlow – performed 3,705 non-emergency operations over the three-year audit period between April 2009 and March 2012.

Mr Barlow said: “No goal is more important than to achieve the highest possible survival rates – even in very high risk patients – and it is testament to the quality of cardiac care in Southampton that we are among the very top performers over a sustained period of time. But we will not stop there. Our cardiac teams, along with all surgical teams, will continue to look and analyse our results and seek to improve wherever necessary to continue to provide the best possible care for our patients.”