Staff at Glenfield children's heart unit "working out next steps"

Campaigners left "disappointed" after decision to stop surgery at children's heart unit in Leicester Credit: ITV Central

Staff at the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester are working out the next steps for patients being treated at its children's heart unit, after it was announced the specialist centre would stop performing surgery.

The East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre, which is based at Glenfield Hospital, is one of three units which will stop performing the procedures, following the outcome of an NHS review into specialist centres across the country.

The review concluded that expertise was spread too thinly among 10 sites and should instead be concentrated in fewer hospitals. The Royal Brompton in west London and Leeds General Infirmary will also stop performing heart surgeries on children.

It is understood the three units will continue to provide the specialist procedures throughout 2013, as plans to implement the new streamlined service are still being developed. After they stop providing surgery, the units will still see patients for diagnosis, monitoring and non-surgical treatment.

Liz Kendall, the MP for Leicester West whose constituency includes Glenfield, has described the decision as a "terrible shock" and says she will do "everything [she] can to support the hospital and others affected.

The units which will now perform the surgery are: Birmingham Children's Hospital, Evelina Hospital, which is part of Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital Trust, Great Ormond Street, both in London, Southampton General Hospital, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle and Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool.

You can read more on the child heart surgery review on the ITV News national website.