Open Heart Surgery live broadcast from Nottingham University Hospitals on the NHS 70th birthday

adam szafranek

In a Nottingham University Hospitals and BBC Radio first, Verity Cowley will be broadcasting live from the Trent Cardiac Centre operating theatres capturing the moment surgeons perform open heart surgery on a patient on Thursday 5 July.

Marking 70 years of the NHS , this live broadcast follows Eric Driscoll’s operation as a new heart valve is inserted, which will then enable him to go on to the next stage of a kidney transplant.  

The programme, which showcases the lifesaving and innovative work of Nottingham’s hospitals and how this benefits patients across the East Midlands, is being broadcast throughout BBC Radio Nottingham’s Breakfast and Mid-Morning shows.

Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, Adam Szafranek, who is carrying out the procedure said: “It is a first to have a radio team in the theatre. The patient is undergoing aortic valve replacement surgery which is open heart surgery which will take around three hours and is a life changing operation for Eric, who is currently receiving dialysis and is awaiting a much needed kidney transplant, once Eric has received his heart valve replacement surgery he will be fully fit and healthy to undergo his much needed kidney transplant. At Nottingham we carry out around 700 cardiac surgery operations each year and each can make a different to each of our patient’s lives.”

Adam added: “At Nottingham we carry out 400 valve replacement surgeries each year and the progress in cardiac surgery is only possible because we work as a great team and have extremely experienced people, who are really dedicated to helping our patients.”

At Nottingham University Hospitals we have 150 theatre staff who make up the Trent Cardiac Centre Team and around 50 ward staff across the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit and Morris Ward based at City Hospital.

Eric who is a renal patient discovered he needed heart surgery whilst undergoing treatment for kidney disease, he said: “Eric Driscoll, said: “I am happy to be involved in the live broadcast as it highlights all the fantastic work that is being carried out in the NHS and it is interesting to be able to do this during the NHS’s 70th Birthday. This operation will save my life and allow me to go on and have the kidney transplant I need. I have met with the Adam, the surgeon and I am confident that this will help get me out of this “new normal” I have got used to and on the road to recovery.”

Eric added: “I am looking forward to planning a short holiday maybe Scotland, when the surgery is done so I can get back to enjoying these times with my wife Mary.” 

Verity Cowley afternoon presenter at BBC Radio Nottingham comments: “Having met Adam and Eric, I’m so excited to be given this rare chance to be in the operating theatre throughout the whole operation, witnessing how this team of 12 specialists will improve Eric’s chances of a significantly healthier future. The NHS is such an important service across the UK – including for local patients here in Nottingham - and I thought this is the perfect opportunity to get right to the heart (pardon the pun) of what it does for us.”

You can listen in live on Thursday 5th July on the BBC Radio Nottingham breakfast and mid-morning shows. Or you can tune in online via

Verity will be live from Nottingham City Hospital, which is home to the Trent Cardiac Centre, part of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH).