Heart surgery unit faces closure15th October 2010
The children’s heart surgery unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford is set to close.
The decision follows the government’s NHS Safe and Sustainable review of child surgery and comes after four babies died at the unit within a few months of a new surgeon starting work there which saw the suspension of such surgery.
The review has assessed the 11 paediatric heart centres in England to decide which others are to be closed and those that are to be developed into regional centres of excellence.
Following the steering group’s decision, Oxford hospital bosses described the recommendation as disappointing.
A spokesman said: “The John Radcliffe Hospital is one of the smallest centres in the country, but we had hoped that the Safe and Sustainable team would recognise the potential that Oxford has in terms of geographical location and the presence of other connected clinical services on site.”
Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust is now considering the implications of the decision.
The spokesman added: “We know our patients, their families and our staff will be very disappointed at this news and hope they will continue to participate in shaping the future of children's cardiac services when the formal consultation begins in the new year.”
The Oxford centre will continue to provide specialised cardiology services for children, carrying out assessment work and ongoing care, but not surgery.
A Department of Health spokeswoman stressed no final decision will be made on the future of the children's heart surgery service at Oxford until the outcome of a full public consultation in 2011.
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Title: Heart surgery unit faces closure
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 16400
Date Added: 15th Oct 2010