Child heart services under scrutiny4th July 2012
Hospitals which provide heart surgery for children in England will soon learn which ones will be forced to stop carrying out operations.
Following a review of the 10 units in England, it was proposed that up to four units should not perform the procedures in the future.
The review was carried out because of concerns that experts were over-stretched and units in London, Bristol, Southampton, Leeds and Newcastle are believed to be in danger.
Around 3,600 operations are carried out every year in England on children with heart problems.
The proposals mean units will be able to diagnose, monitor and treat patients, but not perform operations.
Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, who participated in the review, said changes were necessary to give patients the highest standards of care.
"The aim is to concentrate surgery in larger, fewer centres as part of a wider network of services. It is the case now that we have mediocrity in our surgical centres rather than excellence across the board," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"None of the centres are unsafe but the system of surgery as we currently have it is not sustainable to the point where it can become a series of excellent centres throughout the country."
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Title: Child heart services under scrutiny
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 22274
Date Added: 4th Jul 2012