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  1. ITV Report

Children's heart surgery units to learn fate

Children's heart services will learn their fate today Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Archive

The controversial review into the future of children's heart surgery could lead to the closure of some of the best known heart centres in the UK.

Heart centres at risk include the Royal Brompton, Leeds General Infirmary and Southampton General Hospital.

Today's announcement from the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) aims to streamline paediatric heart services into a few highly specialised centres.

It'll see the number of hospitals carrying out surgery cut from 11 to just six or seven.

Only one of four options set to go before the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts would allow the unit at Southampton General Hospital to continue operating on children born with heart defects.

A consultation document said keeping two of the three specialist units in London - the Evelina Hospital, a part of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital Trust, and Great Ormond Street - was the "preferred option". The Royal Brompton in Chelsea is the third centre.

Other heart units under threat are those at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, Leeds General Infirmary, the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. There are also units in Bristol and Liverpool.

The options are to keep units open at either:

  • Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Birmingham plus two in London
  • Newcastle, Liverpool, Leicester, Birmingham, Bristol plus two in London
  • Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Southampton plus two in London
  • Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol plus two in London

Daybreak speaks to Sam and Aaron Prior from Southampton. Aaron has been treated for a serious heart condition at Southampton General Hospital since he was a baby.

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