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Matron urges rethink on heart surgery centres

Leicester unit told it can no longer perform children’s heart operations has some of the best outcomes, nurse says
Carmel Hunt

A matron on a cardiac unit that has been told it can no longer perform children’s heart surgery has urged a rethink of the move.

Under controversial plans set out by NHS England last week, 13 level one centres that perform heart surgery will be cut to ten, and nine level two specialist cardiac centres will be cut to four as part of a long-standing review of specialist heart services in England.

Specialist care

The plans affect units performing adult and children’s congenital heart disease (CHD) surgery and those providing cardiac specialist care for CHD.

About 80% of the CHD surgery at the units is performed on children.

Some affected trusts said they would fight the decision, including University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Best outcomes

Modern matron Carmel Hunt, of the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre in Leicester, said: ‘We did 331

A matron on a cardiac unit that has been told it can no longer perform children’s heart surgery has urged a rethink of the move.

Under controversial plans set out by NHS England last week, 13 level one centres that perform heart surgery will be cut to ten, and nine level two specialist cardiac centres will be cut to four as part of a long-standing review of specialist heart services in England.

 
Specialist care

The plans affect units performing adult and children’s congenital heart disease (CHD) surgery and those providing cardiac specialist care for CHD. 

About 80% of the CHD surgery at the units is performed on children.

Some affected trusts said they would fight the decision, including University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Best outcomes

Modern matron Carmel Hunt, of the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre in Leicester, said: ‘We did 331 surgical cases in the last year and 90 in the past three months –  where will these cases go to? 

‘Why would you close a unit with some of the best outcomes?’

NHS England said the plans would provide clear direction for the safety and quality of the specialist area.

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