Child heart op units shake-up

Hospitals in Leicester, Leeds and the Royal Brompton in London are to stop performing heart surgery on children. The move is aimed at streamlining paediatric heart services.

Latest ITV News reports

Child heart surgery review: Which hospitals are affected and why

Three hospitals where heart operations have saved the lives of hundreds of children are to stop performing them.

The move comes after an NHS review which concluded that expertise was spread too thinly in 10 specialist units in England and should be concentrated in fewer hospitals.

ITV News' Lewis Vaughan Jones reports on which hospitals are affected - and why.

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Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts: 'This is a landmark decision'

Sir Neil McKay, chairman of the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts, has described the decision to close three of the10 specialist units in England is a "landmark"

He said:

"This is a landmark decision that clinicians and patients have long called for which will enable the NHS to improve care for children with congenital heart disease.

"The needs of children, not the vested interests of hospitals, have been at the heart of this review.

"We recognise these are difficult decisions to make, and that some people will be disappointed to lose their nearest surgical centre.

However, we strongly believe our decision is in the best interests of all children and will ensure services are safe and sustainable for the future."

– Sir Neil McKay, chairman of the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts

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Royal Brompton: 'Difficult to try and understand' committee's decision

Bob Bell, chief executive of the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, said:

"It is very difficult to know what to say at times like these.

"But it is even more difficult to try and understand how this committee could have come to such a decision.

"I will now discuss this decision with the Trust's Board and Governors' Council to determine our next steps. One thing is certain - I will not be asking them for the mandate to manage the destruction of a highly valued and respected children's unit."

– Bob Bell, chief executive of the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
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