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Children's heart surgery units could be closed

Published on 29/04/2010
More than four of England's 11 specialist children's heart surgery units could be closed or merged with larger hospitals if the recommendations of a new report are followed.

According to the NHS National Specialised Commissioning Group, consolidating the number of facilities in the country that offer such surgery would allow doctors to more effectively raise standards and safety.

The report called for a minimum of four surgeons at each unit to deal with emergencies and provide round-the-clock care. This is more than many of the specialist facilities are currently able to provide.

The Times reported the steering group's chairman, Patricia Hamilton, as saying: "We understand loyalties to local hospitals.

"But for me, the quality of surgery and the outcomes for children come above all other considerations."

Publication of the report follows the news last month that all children's heart operations would be stopped at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford while an investigation was conducted into the deaths of several youngsters during surgery.

Some 3,600 operations are conducted on children with congenital heart defects every year.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010


Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
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