An award winning heart surgeon at St George's Hospital has received an apology after she was unlawfully excluded from work last year.

Professor Marjan Jahangiri had been excluded by bosses at the Tooting hospital pending a disciplinary investigation into allegations made against her.

These were in connection to a commissioned review about the working relationships in the cardiac surgery unit.

A joint statement issued by St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the exclusion did not relate to patient safety concerns or to Professor Jahangiri’s skills or competence.

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But a High Court judge last year said that he was not satisfied the exclusion was necessary and this week the hospital apologised to the heart surgeon.

"In excluding Professor Jahangiri, the Trust accepts that it failed to correctly follow its internal procedures," the statement read.

"On August 28, 2018, following an interim injunction hearing at the High Court on August 24, 2018, Mr Justice Nicklin handed down his judgment on the interim proceedings, that Professor Jahangiri’s exclusions were unlawful and issuing her with an interim injunction requiring the Trust to lift the exclusions.

"In compliance with the court order, the Trust immediately lifted the exclusion.

"The Trust confirms that the commissioned review was completed and that after detailed consideration it decided that it did not enable it to resolve its concerns about working relationships within the cardiac surgery unit.

"Further, in light of concerns being raised about the review it was decided to set aside its findings and take no further action in respect of it."

At the time of the High Court ruling last year, Professor Jahangiri said she was delighted with the judgment and that she looked forward to returning to her patients.

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In 2018, Professor Jahangiri was awarded the BMJ Clinical Leadership Team award and was one of three finalists for the Silver Scalpel Award for training excellence at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Association of Surgeons in Training.

The statement by the Trust added that the hospital bosses have since taken steps to ensure this does not happen to any other member of staff.

"The Trust is resolving issues within the cardiac surgery unit through the appointment of Steven Livesey, an experienced cardiac surgery specialist, to lead the cardiac service," it read.

"Professor Jahangiri welcomes the involvement of Mr Livesey and looks forward to working with him.

"The Trust commends Professor Jahangiri’s long-standing commitment and dedication to the cardiac surgery service and to patients.

"She has helped build the unit and has been instrumental in training many other cardiac surgeons. Professor Jahangiri is the aortic lead at the Trust and she plays an important role in research within the cardiac surgery unit.

"The Trust apologises to Professor Jahangiri for excluding her, for the subsequent interim proceedings in the High Court, and the distress that this caused her."

Professor Jahangiri and the Trust have entered into an out-of-court settlement, the details of which have been kept private.