Leading edge research from St George's, University of London has significantly contributed to a Hypertension Centre of Excellence accreditation for the Blood Pressure Unit at St George's Hospital,Tooting.

The unit, part of the Department of Cardiology at the hospital, is a specialist hypertension centre for south London, the only unit of its kind in the region, taking patients with complex blood pressure problems from across southeast England. It provides outstanding clinical care to patients and is one of only five in the world to be named a Hypertension Centre of Excellence in 2013 by the European Hypertension Society.

Dr Tarek Antonios, the unit’s lead consultant and senior clinical lecturer at St George’s, University of London, received the Hypertension Centre of Excellence Diploma at the European Society of Hypertension annual scientific meeting in Milan, Italy, in June 2013.

As part of the core assessment criteria the unit showed that it provides continuing medical education opportunities, has published peer reviewed research in scientific journals, trains a large number of staff and is led by clinicians recognised internationally for hypertension research and care.  The unit is already a Centre for Microcirculatory Research in recognition of the extensive research that Dr Antonios has produced, specifically in the field of capillary microcirculation in essential hypertension and preeclampsia.

The team also demonstrated that it diagnoses and treats high numbers of patients, deals with the most complex cases, has experienced staff with the highest expertise and has access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment.

Dr Antonios said: “The accreditation of the Blood Pressure Unit at St George’s Hospital as a Centre of Excellence is recognition of the high standard of care we provide to our patients and which is not available at other hospitals and this is mainly due to the high quality and expertise of our nursing and medical staff”.

Research programmes at the unit are hosted by St George's, University of London which shares a site and has close links with St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.