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Home Industry News Number of child heart surgery units to be cut

Number of child heart surgery units to be cut

18th February 2011

A number of hospitals that perform children's heart surgery are to be closed to improve patient safety.

Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, who led an inquiry into paediatric heart surgery services, said that not all of the 11 existing units in England would be able to meet new clinical standards.

It is likely that operations will be stopped at four or five of these hospitals.

Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital has already closed its child heart surgery unit following several deaths last year.

According to Sir Ian's follow-up report, which was published this week, Leeds General Infirmary is the next most likely to be unable to meet the new standards.

He said: "We found exemplary practice to be the exception rather than the rule. Mediocrity must not be our benchmark for the future."

The Royal College of Surgeons and the Society of Cardiothoracic Surgery issued a joint statement in support of the plans.

They said: "England has the right number of heart surgeons treating rare heart

Jo Webber, deputy policy director for the NHS Confederation, said that the case for fewer centres was "overwhelming". ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800414407-ADNFCR

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