Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Adult Cardiac Surgery, Thoracic Surgery

South West

No. consultant surgeons who did adult cardiac surgery 1 April 2011 – 31 March 2014: 6
Simon Mark Allen
Malcolm John Robert Dalrymple-Hay
James Hang Ung Kuo
Clinton Thomas Lloyd
Adrian John Marchbank
Michael Jonathan Unsworth-White

No. consultant surgeons who do congenital cardiothoracic surgery: 0

No. consultant surgeons who do thoracic surgery: 1
Adrian John Marchbank


Derriford Hospital
The Southwest Cardiothoracic Unit, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

About the unit

The Southwest Cardiothoracic Unit is part of Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust. The adult tertiary service was established in November 1997, serving a population of 1.8 million covering the Devon and Cornwall peninsula. The SWCC delivers all forms of cardiothoracic services with the exception of paediatric cardiac surgery and transplantation. The services are delivered in a modern state of the art building purpose built and opened in 2010. The wards provide accomodation either in four bedded single sex bays (with ensuite facilities) or single rooms with ensuite wet rooms. There is a purpose built lodge for relatives to stay in within the hospital grounds with parking.

There are 6 consultant surgeons and 9 consultant cardiothoracic anesthetists. They are supported by a specialist team of surgical care practitioners, nurses, physiotherapists, dieticians and other technical staff: 

  • Mr Simon Allen - Secretary 01752 439252
  • Mr James Kuo - Secretary 01752 431847
  • Mr Jonathan Unsworth-White - Secretary 01752 439253
  • Mr Adrian Marchbank - Secretary 01752 431825
  • Mr Malcolm Dalrymple-Hay - Secretary 01752 439231
  • Mr Clinton Lloyd - Secretary 01752 439252

Using the latest techniques and advanced technology the Centre offers the full range of adult cardiac surgery other than transplantation.

Approximately 1200 adult cardiac operations are performed annually from the 5 main referral centres (Plymouth, Truro, Exeter, Torbay and Barnstable). The surgeons provide peripheral clinics to these centers where patients can meet the surgeons to discuss their operation in clinics and have their preoperative screening performed locally before admission for surgery.
The main operations performed are:

- Coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) – Including:

"Off-pump" surgery
Total arterial revascularization (using arteries instead of veins)
Endoscopic vein harvesting "(keyhole" surgery in the leg)

- Aortic Valve replacement (AVR) – The unit specialises in:
Minimal Access AVR
TAVI – (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implants)
Use of MECC (Miniaturized bypass machine)

- Mitral Valve Surgery - Including
Complex repair techniques
Keyhole surgery
Mitral Valve Replacement

- Surgery on the aorta (including endovascular stenting)
- Surgery to ablate atrial fibrillation
- Surgery for heart failure including ventricular remodeling

The surgeons work closely with a team of expert cardiologists who assist with sophisticated assessment such as non-invasive MRI scanning and echocardiography. The team of electrophysiologists work closely with the surgeons in the arrhythmia service before and after surgery and we are a teaching centre for ablation techniques.

The infection rates with MRSA and other bacteria are very low and we have a very close working relationship with the hospital infection control team who continuously monitor the wards

The Centre mainly operates on people from Devon and Cornwall and the surrounding areas but welcomes enquiries from anyone further afield. 

Services provided

Adult Cardiac Surgery
Thoracic Surgery

Rehabilitation and follow up

Cardiac rehabilitation is provided for our patients and referrals are made to our teams across the peninsula to provide a continuity of care.


There are drop off points at all entrances to the hospital with assistance for wheelchair users on request at reception. There is a lounge for all patients who are awaiting their transport on discharge with easy access and parking.

Visiting hours

All ward areas have visiting hours from 14.30 hrs - 20.00 hrs. The intensive care and high dependency unit have flexible visiting dependant on the needs of the patient.


The Southwest Cardiothoracic Unit,
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust,
Derriford Road,
Plymouth, Devon,

Tel: 01752 763838

Trust Website: Click here

Number and type of operations performed

This graph shows the number and percentage of each type of heart surgery done in this hospital. The number of operations is shown in the line going up the left hand side. The percentage (%) underneath each coloured bar shows how much of this hospital’s heart surgery is made up each procedure type.

The ‘key’ underneath the graph shows what procedure(s) each coloured bar shows. The abbreviations used are explained below:

  • Isolated: This procedure has been carried out on its own. No other procedures were done during the same operation.
  • CABG: Coronary artery bypass grafting
  • AVR: Aortic valve replacement
  • MV: Mitral valve procedure

You can find out more about these procedures in the ‘About cardiothoracic surgery’ section. If you or someone you know is having heart surgery, it may be helpful to know whether your hospital does lots of the procedure(s) that you need. If you have questions or concerns about the number of procedures being done at your hospital, you should speak to your heart surgeon.

Click here for help understanding this graph

In-hospital survival rate (risk adjusted)

This graph shows the percentage of patients who survived their operation. This is called the ‘in-hospital survival rate’.

Some units do more complicated surgery on patients who are more sick, whilst others do fairly routine surgery. So that we can make fair comparisons between these units, the survival rate has been ‘risk adjusted’ to take into account the difficulty of each operation.

The dot in the graph shows the risk-adjusted survival rate for the unit you are looking at. The area between the two dotted lines is the range in which the dot will appear if the results are as expected.

For more information on understanding mortality rates, look at the Understanding the graphs page

Click here for help understanding this graph

Average patient risk profile

Some risk factors like age, gender, and other medical problems, can affect the outcome of heart surgery.

Each of the graphs below shows what percentage of this hospital's patients have each risk factor (peach bar on the left) next to the average for the whole of the UK (green bar on the right). This can tell you whether the hospital generally operates on high risk patients, and whether they specialise in doing particular types of complicated surgery, like operations on the thoracic aorta.

You can find out more about the risk factors in the 'About cardiothoracic surgery' section

Click here for help understanding this graph

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