The following recommendations are made: 1 Existing centres undertaking angioplasty should increase their activity, and the target figure of 400 PTCA procedures per million of the United Kingdom population should be achieved by the end of 1996-97, or immediately thereafter. 2 Angioplasty centres should be appropriately equipped to undertake PTCA safely and effectively and provide a reliable emergency service. They should have a minimum of two trained PTCA operators jointly undertaking a minimum of 200 procedures per year at that centre, and have regular meetings to share experience. 3 Angioplasty operators should ensure that where the need arises patients undergoing PTCA can receive immediate attention from a trained operator at any time until discharge from hospital. 4 Trained operators should undertake at least 1-2 PTCA procedures per week (> 60 procedures per year) to maintain competence, and those undertaking so few procedures should increase their activity over the next three years to more than 100 a year. 5 Trainers should have performed at least 500 procedures before formally training others and should undertake a minimum of 125 procedures a year to maintain accreditation as a trainer. 6 Surgical cover for PTCA procedures should be mandatory and on site cover remains the strongly preferred option. Where surgical cover is provided off site, this should be at a centre less than 30 minutes away by road. Whether provided on or off-site it should be possible to establish cardiopulmonary bypass within 90 minutes of the decision being made to refer the patient for surgery. 7 All operators and interventional centres should audit their activity and results, review these data locally with colleagues, and provide regular audit returns to the national database run by BCIS. This will allow future recommendations concerning standards to take more account of risk stratification and actual outcomes, and not place such emphasis merely on volumes of activity. 8 These recommendations should be reviewed in three years.
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