From investigations to surgery, our cardiac specialists can help
To find out more:
023 8091 4471

Monday - Friday

Southampton Heart Service

Cardiac experts at Spire Southampton Hospital, Hampshire

Mr Clifford Barlow MBBCh(Rand) DPhil(Oxon) FRCS(CTh)

  • Contact details

    Telephone: 023 8091 4481 or 023 8091 4468



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  • Surgical experience and interests

    Mr Barlow has performed over 3000 cardiac operations in Southampton as a primary surgeon during the last 11 years. He performs all aspects of adult Cardiac Surgery, with the exception of transplantation, as there is no regional transplant unit here. The majority of procedures involve coronary bypass grafting but he also performs aortic and mitral valve replacements, mitral valve repairs and major thoracic aortic surgery. He has a particular interest in redo-procedures and surgery for atrial fibrillation.

    Mr Barlow’s personal operative results, and those of the Cardiac Unit at UHS, are available for public scrutiny at the Healthcare Commission website ( His personal operative outcomes, and those of the cardiac unit at UHS, have consistently been significantly better than expected when adjusted for surgical and operative risk. They compare very favourably with other Cardiac Units in the United Kingdom.

    Mr Barlow has performed over 700 cardiac procedures at this hospital with a mortality rate less than 0.25% for all cases - despite a varied case mix. The outcomes for the Cardiac Surgical Group at Spire Southampton are especially outstanding considering the surgical and operative risk profiles of patients are equivalent to many much larger Cardiac Units in the United Kingdom.

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  • Professional and research interests

    Mr Barlow is a lead Examiner for the final FRCS (Cardiothoracic) Intercollegiate examination. In addition he is on both the Standard setting and Question Writing Groups for this examination. He is the Unit representative for UHS at the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery of the United Kingdom and Ireland. He is Regional Representative for South Central England for Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons. He is also Cardiothoracic Representative on the local Professional Affairs Board.

    Mr Barlow has a longstanding dedication to teaching and training junior surgeons in Cardiothoracic Surgery. He established a permanent training laboratory at UHS and has run several wet-lab sessions. He is currently Clinical and Educational Supervisor for all Core Surgical and Foundation Year trainees in Cardiothoracic Surgery at UHS. Mr Barlow has run the clinical outcome audit database at UHS for the last 10 years. He is currently also responsible for Cardiothoracic Outcome data at Spire Southampton Hospital. He is Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgical liaison with the UHS Clinical Governance committee.

    Mr Barlow has a longstanding involvement in clinical research in many aspects of Cardiac Surgery and Physiology. This has continued since he completed his Doctoral thesis (DPhil) at the University of Oxford in 1994. He currently has over 50 publications in peer reviewed journals (

    Current NHS and/or university posts 

    Consultant Cardiac Surgeon, University Hospital Southampton Foundation Trust (UHS)  

    Year of first medical qualification:  1985

    Current membership(s) of professional, national and regional bodies 

    • Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland
    • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
    • South Central Professional Affairs Board.


    • MBBCh (Witwatersrand)
    • FRCS (Cardiothoracic)
    • DPhil (Oxon).
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  • Background information

    Mr Barlow received his MBBCh at the Medical School of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 1985. Following initial training in General Surgery there and at Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto he came to the United Kingdom in 1991. In 1994 he completed his Doctoral research thesis on aspects of exercise in Heart Failure at the University of Oxford (DPhil). He trained in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford and Papworth Hospital, Cambridge between 1994 and 1999. Mr Barlow spent 18 months as Cardiothoracic Transplant Fellow at Stanford University, California before being appointed as a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the University Hospital Southampton Foundation Trust (UHS) in 2000. In 2007 he discontinued his Thoracic Surgical Practice to focus on Adult Cardiac Surgery.

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© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)