Heart surgery in England and Wales has been named as the best in Europe, with 25% fewer deaths after operations, according to a report from Manchester University in the UK.

Researchers compared comprehensive data on cardiac surgery across 24 countries and analysed more than one million heart operations – and found that NHS patients in England and Wales were 25% more likely to survive their heart operation than the European average, even though surgeons in the two countries were more likely to be operating on emergency patients and elderly patients.

In addition, patients in England and Wales recovered faster and were able to be discharged from the hospital two days earlier compared to the European average.

The death rate for coronary artery bypass surgery was 2.4% across 24 countries. Wales, England and Scotland had death rates of 1.1%, 1.8% and 2.2% respectively.