Strathfield Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care


Strathfield Private Hospital celebrates 30 years of cardiac care

Oct 15, 2021

Strathfield Private Hospital is celebrating an impressive medical milestone - its 30 year anniversary of providing comprehensive cardiac care.

Led by Professors Douglas Baird and Duncan Thompson, Strathfield Private’s cardiac program began in 1991. Cardiothoracic surgeon Professor Paul Bannon was a Doctoral Surgical Research student at the time and remembers assisting Dr Thompson on the very first case.

“It was just the beginning back then, I was a PHD student and I remember bunking down and sleeping there to look after the patients overnight. It was all for free of course, Professor Baird told me the experience was payment enough, but it really was a lot of fun,” Prof. Bannon recalled with a smile.

“Reaching this 30 year milestone, I don’t think it’s the time that’s so important, but rather the evolution of care at Strathfield that really should be emulated everywhere. It’s such a small place by hospital standards but it punches way above its weight, not only in the case numbers but also in the breadth of conditions we treat. Another key point is Strathfield’s commitment from the outset to measuring and reporting patient outcomes. It was the first private cardiac surgical unit in NSW to contribute to the National Database and Governance unit and has not missed a beat since the database’s inception. The outcomes have always been of the highest standard,” he said.

Cardiologist Professor Ian Wilcox was also instrumental in establishing the cardiac program back in 1991. He said the anniversary was an important milestone to recognise and celebrate.

“We had unimaginable waiting lists in the public sector back then so we needed to find a facility to operate on private patients. At Strathfield Private Hospital, we developed a unique model where it’s consultant led; patients get the benefits of all of our skills and because we’re all academically trained, the patients are getting the best of modern science directly at the bedside,” Prof. Wilcox said.

“I’ve always believed that health care is a team sport and we really built upon Paul Ramsay’s philosophy of people caring for people. The relationship we have with the nursing staff is always incredibly close and we make it very clear to patients that we are one team. The excellent standard of care for patients could not be delivered without the excellent nursing team at Strathfield Private,” he said.

Fast forward 30 years and Strathfield Private’s cardiac facilities encompass a dedicated 25-bed cardiovascular ward, cardiac catheter laboratory, hybrid theatre and Intensive Care Unit.

The Hospital’s Head of the Department of Medicine, Associate Professor Michele McGrady said she’s looking forward to guiding the team towards the next 30 years.

“We’ve developed a lot of expertise in complex care and looking into the future I think that will continue. But I think as we move forward we’ll include more community care. We’re looking to integrate more research into our service and perhaps develop options such as nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices from pre-op right through to discharge,” Assoc. Prof. McGrady said.

Chief Executive Officer Rowann O’Mullane congratulated the team, particularly Professor Bannon and Professor Wilcox who’ve been there from the beginning.

“This is such a wonderful milestone to celebrate at Strathfield Private Hospital. For 30 years we have been leading the way in private cardiac care, and we now have the full range of cardiothoracic surgeons as well as cardiologists,” Ms O’Mullane said.

‘The fact that we still have nursing staff working here who were present for the first cardiac surgery 30 years ago, and many nurses who have been working in the cardiac unit for over 20 years, is remarkable. Our nursing team forms the foundation for our success in cardiac care and our patients should feel at ease knowing they are in good hands”.

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Strathfield Private Hospital celebrates 30 years of cardiac care