When it comes to training heart experts of the future cardiothoracic surgeon Simon Kendall has been named as the best in Europe.
Simon, who is based at the heart unit at The James Cook University Hospital, has been awarded the Leonardo Da Vinci Award for Training Excellence 2012 by the European Association for Cardiothoracic Surgery (EACTS).
The award is based on nominations from surgical trainees and was announced in front of 2,000 delegates at the EACTS annual meeting in Barcelona.
“It is remarkable to have been compared to so many outstanding centres across the whole of Europe and to be selected,” said Simon who was presented with an 18 inch statue with a scalpel on the top which he then had to get through three security checks on the flight home!
“It’s like Hartlepool winning the FA Cup or Middlesbrough winning the European Championship – it’s extraordinary. It’s a great achievement which reflects on everyone in the cardiothoracic division, the hospital and the Northern Deanery – you just can’t do these things alone.”
He said the award is a credit to South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for the amount of support it gives to training and development.
“The trust has always had a strong commitment to development, not only to junior staff but to our senior staff as well. We have an outstanding foundation programme and a great reputation for our training right across the North east.
“The heart unit opened in 1993 enabling us to provide excellent patient care with a high throughput to meet the challenge of the long waiting lists.
“From the very outset our plan was to be a training unit and we have always been committed to training the surgeons of the future.”