Very few property hunters give a second thought to ill health when identifying an area of London to buy a home. Wimbledon ticks many of the boxes on their checklist, including great transport links, enviable amenities and a wide selection of high-achieving schools. But it is also in the catchment area of one of London’s best hospitals – St George’s.
The venue for Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E, St George’s Hospital in Tooting is one of the country’s main teaching hospitals and is shared with St George’s University of London. This is where medical students are trained and advanced medical research is carried out.
After the TV cameras stopped rolling King’s College Hospital, the documentary show’s executive producer Hamo Forsyth explained the reason for relocating to St George’s. “We looked around the country for a new hospital and St George’s A&E department had everything we were looking for and more,” he said.
“We were very impressed by the professionalism of the team. Not only do they offer world-class care to patients, but we really picked up on the strong team spirit and friendliness amongst staff.”
The hospital, which has recently announced it is teaming up with a commercial partner to create the UK’s first centre of excellence for non-invasive prenatal screening, hit the headlines again last week when it was revealed that St George’s has raised £400,000 to buy an anti-gravity treadmill.
Doctors are now using this to treat patients with injured limbs by allowing them to exercise at a reduced gravity, meaning there is less weight being placed on their injured leg.
This is on top of the other specialist services, such as cardiothoracic medicine and surgery, neurosciences are renal transplantation, it provides to a population of around 3.5 million from all over south-east England.
And other services on offer at St George’s, including family HIV care and bone marrow transplantation for non-cancer diseases, are available to patients from all over the country.
Hospital watchdog the Care Quality Commission agrees that St George’s offers patients from Wimbledon and beyond a level of service that beats many other hospitals in the country. In a report published last year, the CQC found that the overall standard of care at the hospital was good and of 62 specific services rated, four were said to be outstanding, 50 were good and none were judged inadequate.
This should come as little surprise. In 2012, St George’s Hospital was judged to have the best response rate for treating heart attack patients in London by the Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project.
The annual study found that St George’s had the best ‘call to balloon’ rate, treating 90% of patients in under 150 minutes.
The ‘call-to-balloon’ time is from when the patient makes the emergency call, to the time that their emergency surgery is completed in hospital.
With the exception of calling on the hospital’s maternity services, some of which have received scores of 100% in patient surveys, we hope none of our clients ever have to use St George’s excellent healthcare facilities. But it is reassuring to know that Wimbledon residents have high quality care on their doorstep should the unthinkable happen.
Image source: www.flickr.com (David Lawson)