City firms are being asked to give financial support to Europe’s biggest heart centre to help it reduce the high rate of cardiac death in east London.
The Barts Charity has drawn up a £10 million “shopping list” of projects, including establishing the UK’s biggest centre for inherited cardiovascular diseases and a clinical trials unit at the Barts Heart Centre in Smithfield.
The £234 million centre, in Smithfield, opened its doors in April and wants its to draw on the generosity from its wealthy neighbours to improve the healthy of deprived East End communities.
Heart disease is Britain’s biggest killer and accounts for 160,000 deaths a year. Bringing East End death rates down to the national average would save 1,000 lives a year.
Top doctors will conduct tours of the new hospital, allow them to attempt heart surgery on simulators and attend staff seminars in City firms designed to promote good heart health as part of the drive to attract corporate support. Law firm Linklaters has already signed up as backers and 35 major employers attended a launch event last Wednesday.
City workers are at risk from heart attacks due to stress and high workloads. The Circulate initiative is backed by former footballer Fabrice Muamba, who was saved after treatment at the London Chest Hospital, whose services were centralised at the Barts Heart Centre.
Professor Charles Knight, director of Barts Heart Centre, said: “We want to see our neighbours come to Circulate events, not come through the front door of our heart attack centre.”
Belinda Dee, director of development at Barts Charity, said: “St Bartholomew’s Hospital has safeguarded the health of the City of London for centuries. By funding world-leading cardiac innovation and engaging with the City on this critical healthcare issue we can improve overall health and wellbeing in our capital.”