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Children's heart surgery big response

24th August 2011

Figure show that more than 75,000 people have responded to a consultation about re-organising children’s heart surgery in England.

heart surgery

With a final decision due later this year, the option preferred by a majority of patients and the public is to see an end to operations at Leeds and Southampton.

However, organisations including NHS trusts and heart charities favoured ending surgery at Leeds and Leicester.

An option to end children’s heart surgery at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London is being challenged in the High court next month.

The review plans to move child heart surgery into fewer but larger centres to concentrate surgical expertise with the process aiing to cut the number of centres from 10 to six or seven units.

Most people who responded recognised the aims of the proposals but only 46% agreed that services needed to change, and some expressed concern that families would have to travel further for surgery.

The four-month consultation conducted by the 'Safe and Sustainable' project team is among the largest ever within the NHS.

A tenth of responses were from children and young people and there were 25 petitions. One had 445,945 signatures to save surgery at Leeds.

The Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts will now consider the responses.

Chairman Sir Neil McKay said: “The scale of the response confirms to me the importance of ensuring excellent NHS care for children with congenital heart disease.”

The Children's Heart Federation charity, which helps children with heart disease and their families, has backed the principle of having fewer, larger centres.

 

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