Inside St Bartholomew’s: Specialist NHS cardio hospital in east London will treat Prince Philip

Prince Philip has today been transferred to Britain’s oldest hospital which is among the best in the world for cardiac care.

St Bartholomew’s Hospital, close to St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London, is Britain’s oldest hospital and will celebrate its 900th anniversary in 2023. 

Barts Heart Centre, based in the hospital’s state-of-the-art King George V building, is Europe’s largest specialised cardiovascular centre, and aspires to perform more heart surgery, MRI and CT scans than any other service in the world.

Founded by a courtier of Henry I in 1123, St Bartholomew’s has provided continuous patient care on the same site for longer than any other hospital in England. 

The Duke of Edinburgh was today transferred by ambulance to St Bart’s for ‘testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition’ following a two-week stay at the King Edward VII Hospital. 

Founded by a courtier of Henry I in 1123, St Bartholomew's Hospital has provided continuous patient care on the same site for longer than any other hospital in England

Founded by a courtier of Henry I in 1123, St Bartholomew's Hospital has provided continuous patient care on the same site for longer than any other hospital in England

Founded by a courtier of Henry I in 1123, St Bartholomew’s Hospital has provided continuous patient care on the same site for longer than any other hospital in England

At St Bart's, a specialist heart attack centre delivers dedicated emergency care 24 hours a day, with rapid access to a team with specialist expertise and equipment

At St Bart's, a specialist heart attack centre delivers dedicated emergency care 24 hours a day, with rapid access to a team with specialist expertise and equipment

At St Bart’s, a specialist heart attack centre delivers dedicated emergency care 24 hours a day, with rapid access to a team with specialist expertise and equipment

Barts Heart Centre, based in the hospital's state-of-the-art King George V building, is Europe's largest specialised cardiovascular centre

Barts Heart Centre, based in the hospital's state-of-the-art King George V building, is Europe's largest specialised cardiovascular centre

Barts Heart Centre, based in the hospital’s state-of-the-art King George V building, is Europe’s largest specialised cardiovascular centre

An ambulance is seen leaving King Edward VII Hospital in London this morning which has been treating Prince Philip

An ambulance is seen leaving King Edward VII Hospital in London this morning which has been treating Prince Philip

An ambulance is seen leaving King Edward VII Hospital in London this morning which has been treating Prince Philip

The Duke of Edinburgh during the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles at Windsor Castle on July 22 last year

The Duke of Edinburgh during the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles at Windsor Castle on July 22 last year

The Duke of Edinburgh during the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles at Windsor Castle on July 22 last year

Prince Philip, 99, spent 14 days at the King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone having initially been admitted for a ‘few days’ on February 16 as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell, making this his longest ever stay in hospital. 

Philip – who was today said to remain ‘comfortable’ – will continue to receive treatment for the infection at St Bartholomew’s in the City of London, where he is expected to remain ‘until at least the end of the week’. 

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said at 12.30pm today: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh was today transferred from King Edward VII’s Hospital to St Bartholomew’s Hospital where doctors will continue to treat him for an infection, as well as undertake testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition. 

‘The Duke remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week.’

The Barts Heart Centre has 10 operating theatres, 10 cardiac catheter laboratories and more than 300 general, cardiac and critical care beds. 

A specialist heart attack centre delivers dedicated emergency care 24 hours a day, with rapid access to a team with specialist expertise and equipment.

In January 2020 the service was rated number one for cardiac arrest survival rates in London, according to the NHS website. 

Last year, Prince Charles was made patron of Barts Heritage, a charity overseeing a £15m fundraising appeal for restoring the historic North Wing and the Henry VIII Gatehouse on the hospital’s Smithfield site. 

The Duke of Edinburgh was transferred from King Edward VII Hospital to St Bartholomew's Hospital in London this morning

The Duke of Edinburgh was transferred from King Edward VII Hospital to St Bartholomew's Hospital in London this morning

The Duke of Edinburgh was transferred from King Edward VII Hospital to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London this morning

Police officers stand guard outside the St Bartholomew's Hospital in London today where Prince Philip is now being treated

Police officers stand guard outside the St Bartholomew's Hospital in London today where Prince Philip is now being treated

Police officers stand guard outside the St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London today where Prince Philip is now being treated

Police cars are pictured outside King Edward VII Hospital in London this morning where 99-year-old Philip was being treated

Police cars are pictured outside King Edward VII Hospital in London this morning where 99-year-old Philip was being treated

Police cars are pictured outside King Edward VII Hospital in London this morning where 99-year-old Philip was being treated 

Philip has been patron of the British Heart Foundation since the charity was founded in 1961. In March 2017, he hosted a reception at St James’s Palace to mark 55 years in the role, during which he met volunteers, donors, researchers and supporters of the organisation.

In December 2011, the Duke had treatment for a blocked coronary artery at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire, which was described as ‘a significant health scare’ by the BBC at the time. 

And in October, a royal courtier revealed to the Daily Mirror that Philip had been battling a secret heart condition for 15 years. They claimed that he took regular medication with staff briefed to take him to hospital immediately if he was short of breath or dizzy.

The newspaper reported at the time that aides had been told ‘not to take no for an answer’ amid warnings that Philip could have a heart attack at any time.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited St Bartholomew’s Hospital on October 20 last year as they met medical staff and marked the launch of the nationwide ‘Hold Still’ community photography project.

Prince William and Kate Middleton met a small number of staff from the hospital, including pharmacist and photographer Joyce Duah and the two pharmacy technician colleagues she photographed writing on their PPE as they put it on, in a photograph that was selected to be in the set of 100 images taken during the lockdown.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited St Bartholomew's Hospital on October 20 last year

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited St Bartholomew's Hospital on October 20 last year

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited St Bartholomew’s Hospital on October 20 last year

Founded by a courtier of Henry I and the first centre to offer mega-voltage radiotherapy for cancer patients: The history of Britain’s oldest hospital 

St Bartholomew's Hospital has provided continuous patient care on the same site for longer than any other hospital in England

St Bartholomew's Hospital has provided continuous patient care on the same site for longer than any other hospital in England

St Bartholomew’s Hospital has provided continuous patient care on the same site for longer than any other hospital in England

1123: St Bartholomew’s Hospital has provided continuous patient care on the same site for longer than any other hospital in England. It was founded, with the Priory of St Bartholomew, in 1123 by Rahere, formerly a courtier of Henry I.

1539: The Priory was closed as part of Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, and although the Hospital was allowed to continue, its future was very uncertain as it had no income with which to carry out its functions.

1546: Following a petition from the citizens of London, Henry granted the hospital to the City of London in 1546, and in 1547, shortly before his death, endowed it with property to provide an income. A Board of Governors, was set up to administer the Hospital, with paid officials, a Matron and twelve Sisters, and three Surgeons who had to attend the poor daily.

1562: The first Physician was appointed in 1562. The basic constitution of the Hospital remained the same until the establishment of the National Health Service in 1948, although the medical and nursing staff increased greatly during that time. Nurses, or ‘Sisters’ helpers’, were first mentioned in 1647. 

1734: Apprentices to the surgeons had ‘walked the wards’ at the hospital since at least the 17th century, and in 1734 approval was given for the hospital’s surgeons ‘to read lectures in anatomy in the dissecting-room of the Hospital’. 

1914-1945: The Hospital remained open throughout the World Wars, although during World War II many services were evacuated to Hertfordshire and Middlesex. 

1954: It became the first hospital in the country to offer mega-voltage radiotherapy for cancer patients. 

1992: Sir Bernard Tomlinson’s Report of the Inquiry into the London Health Service proposed the closure of the hospital, but more than one million people signed a petition to save it. It remained open and in 1994 joined with The Royal London Hospital and London Chest Hospital.

1999-2012: The Royal Hospitals NHS Trust was renamed Barts and The London NHS Trust, and in 2012, when Whipps Cross and Newham University Hospitals joined the grouping, the new trust became known as Barts Health NHS Trust. 

2023: The hospital will celebrate its 900th anniversary.

Source: bartshealth.nhs.uk 

 

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Medics warn Prince Philip could face weeks more in hospital as he is treated for pre-existing heart condition that saw him need a stent in 2011 

ByConnor Boyd Assistant Health Editor For Mailonline

 

Prince Philip could face weeks more in hospital after being transferred to an NHS trust for a pre-existing heart condition, medics warned today.

Buckingham Palace revealed The Duke of Edinburgh had been moved from the private King Edward VII Hospital to St Bartholomew’s – commonly known as Barts – this morning for ‘testing and observation’ for an undisclosed, underlying heart issue.  

The Prince, 99, had spent two weeks at the private facility with a mystery infection, having initially been admitted for a ‘few days’ on February 16 after feeling unwell. His infection is not related to coronavirus and it’s not clear whether it is linked to his heart condition. 

NHS cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra told MailOnline the Prince could be in hospital for ‘four to six weeks’ and given intravenous antibiotics if it transpires that he has a heart infection.

But Dr Malhotra added: ‘It’s more likely he had an infection elsewhere – it could’ve been in the urinary tract or a chest infection – and the stress on his body put strain on his heart. 

‘Therefore he had to be taken to a specialist cardiac centre to make sure heart is functioning while he is treated for the infection. What makes it more likely is his underlying heart issues.’ 

Buckingham Palace suggested the Duke could be discharged by the end of the week and insiders said it was ‘good news’ he’d been moved to a second hospital. 

Despite enjoying an active lifestyle and carrying out Royal engagements until 2017, Prince Philip has suffered with an undisclosed heart condition for 30 years, which was only made public in 2007.

The Duke – patron of the British Heart Foundation – also had a stent inserted during surgery for a blocked artery in 2011 after experiencing chest pains. The following year he developed a urinary infection and in 2013 he underwent abdominal surgery for an undisclosed condition.

More recently, he was admitted for an infection ‘arising from a pre-existing condition’ in June 2018 and again in December 2019 due to complications from an underlying problem.

Dr Malhotra told MailOnline it was ‘difficult to draw conclusions’ about the Prince’s current condition with the ‘limited information’. 

Prince Philip (pictured last July) could face weeks more in hospital after being transferred to an NHS trust for a pre-existing heart condition, medics warned today

Prince Philip (pictured last July) could face weeks more in hospital after being transferred to an NHS trust for a pre-existing heart condition, medics warned today

Prince Philip (pictured last July) could face weeks more in hospital after being transferred to an NHS trust for a pre-existing heart condition, medics warned today

The Duke of Edinburgh was today moved from the private King Edward VII Hospital to St Bartholomew's - commonly known as Barts - for 'testing and observation' for an undisclosed, underlying heart issue (pictured being transferred)

The Duke of Edinburgh was today moved from the private King Edward VII Hospital to St Bartholomew's - commonly known as Barts - for 'testing and observation' for an undisclosed, underlying heart issue (pictured being transferred)

The Duke of Edinburgh was today moved from the private King Edward VII Hospital to St Bartholomew’s – commonly known as Barts – for ‘testing and observation’ for an undisclosed, underlying heart issue (pictured being transferred)

Police officers stand guard outside the Barts NHS hospital this morning

Police officers stand guard outside the Barts NHS hospital this morning

Police officers stand guard outside the Barts NHS hospital this morning 

From a blocked coronary artery to a urinary infection, Prince Philip’s ailments in past 10 years

Prince Philip has enjoyed excellent health for a 99-year-old and still enjoys an active lifestyle. But in recent years he has struggled a little more with illness, suffering from a number of ailments over the past decade, including:

  • December 2011, four days in hospital: Prince Philip is airlifted to Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire from Sandringham two days before Christmas after suffering chest pains, and undergoes surgery for a blocked coronary artery
  • June 2012, six days: Philip is taken to hospital after developing a urinary infection during the river pageant to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
  • June 2013, 11 days: He has abdominal surgery for an undisclosed condition and spends his 92nd birthday in hospital
  • December 2016: Both the Queen and Philip suddenly cancel plans to leave London for their festive break in Norfolk after they both come down with heavy colds
  • June 2016: The Duke pulls out of a Battle of Jutland anniversary event citing a minor ailment
  • June 2017, three days: Philip is admitted to hospital as ‘a precautionary measure’ for an infection arising from a pre-existing condition
  • April 2018, 11 days: The Duke spends nearly a fortnight in hospital following his successful hip replacement
  • December 2019, five days: He is treated at King Edward Hospital in London for a ‘pre-existing condition’ 
  • February 2021, 14 days (so far): Prince Philip is admitted to King Edward VII Hospital for treatment for an infection, before being transferred to St Bartholomew’s Hospital 14 days later.
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Dr Malhotra added: ‘This is all speculation, it’s difficult to draw conclusions with the limited information.

‘He’s far healthier than the average person of his age and is clearly a very robust and resilient man. I wish him very well and hope he gets better soon.’ 

Barts describes itself as an ‘internationally renowned hospital’ and a ‘centre of excellence for both cardiac and cancer care’, located in the City of London near St Paul’s Cathedral.

The site includes Europe’s largest specialised cardiovascular service at Barts Health Centre, while Barts Cancer Centre has a ‘global reputation for treating common and rare cancers’, according to the hospital. The clinic offers both private and NHS treatment. 

The NHS said the centre aspires to perform more heart surgery, MRI and CT scans than any other service in the world. 

A specialist heart attack centre delivers emergency care 24 hours a day, with rapid access to a team with specialist expertise and equipment.

In January 2020 the service was rated number one for cardiac arrest survival rates in London, the NHS said, and the hospital will celebrate its 900th birthday in 2023

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said today: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh was today transferred from King Edward VII’s Hospital to St Bartholomew’s Hospital where doctors will continue to treat him for an infection, as well as undertake testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition. 

‘The Duke remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week.’

Shortly after 11am today, a patient was taken away from King Edward VII Hospital in an ambulance, but umbrellas screened them from press and broadcast cameras as they were leaving the hospital and entering an ambulance.

A marked police van blocked the side street at the the exclusive private hospital on Beaumont Street in Marylebone, and there was also a police presence ensuring the road was clear.

Uniformed officers also stood along the street beside the hospital to keep traffic and passers by moving. At a rear entrance, umbrellas were used to shield the gap between the hospital and the NHS ambulance.

While Buckingham Palace has not officially confirmed whether the ambulance was for the Duke, ITV royal correspondent Chris Ship tweeted: ‘We can only imagine – although we don’t know – this was for Prince Philip.’

The Duke was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital last month as a precautionary measure after feeling unwell and walked in unaided. Buckingham Palace said last Wednesday he was ‘comfortable’ and responding to treatment.

Both Philip and the Queen have received Covid-19 vaccinations and his infection is not related to coronavirus. On February 20, Prince Charles made a 200-mile round trip from his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire to see him.

The Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter previously said Philip was likely to have ‘requested’ his eldest son’s presence to discuss the future of the Royal Family, given recent developments with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirming they would not be returning as senior royals.

The Duke, who is three months away from his 100th birthday, has also spoken to other members of the Royal Family on the phone. The Queen has remained at Windsor Castle where Philip had previously been staying.

Last Tuesday, the Earl of Wessex said Philip was ‘a lot better’ when it was announced the Duke would spend several more days in hospital being treated for the infection.

Prince Edward told Sky News: ‘He’s a lot better, thank you very much indeed, and he’s looking forward to getting out, which is the most positive thing, so we keep our fingers crossed.’

Timeline of Prince Philip’s latest stay in hospital

Here is the timeline of the Duke of Edinburgh’s stay in hospital since his admission two weeks ago:

  • Tuesday, February 16 – The duke is admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital on a precautionary basis after feeling unwell. He travels from Windsor Castle by car. Philip is said to be in ‘good spirits’ and walks into the private hospital unaided. He is expected to stay for a few days.
  • Friday, February 19 – Sources say Philip is now expected to remain in hospital for ‘observation and rest’ over the weekend and into the next week.
  • Saturday, February 20 – The Prince of Wales makes a 200 mile-round trip to see his father, spending around half an hour at the hospital.
  • Tuesday, February 23 – Seven days after the duke was admitted, the Palace says he is being treated for an infection and is ‘comfortable and responding to treatment’, but is not expected to leave hospital for several more days. The Earl of Wessex says the duke is a ‘lot better’ and looking forward to getting out.
  • Today – Philip is transferred in an ambulance to St Bartholomew’s Hospital for treatment for an infection and testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition, Buckingham Palace says. The duke is shielded from public view by large umbrellas as he leaves King Edward VII’s Hospital.
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