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Readers' panel: Should service planners always prioritise safety and quality over accessibility?

NHS England has told three major hospitals – in London, Manchester and Leicester – to stop performing complex cardiac surgery on people born with congenital heart problems. The move is designed to improve standards and outcomes, but some parents of young patients have said they will be unable to cope with travelling long distances to another unit for treatment.  Nursing Standard readers' panelists have their say on this controversial decision. 
Prioritise safety & quality over accessibility

NHS England has told three major hospitals – in London, Manchester and Leicester – to stop performing complex cardiac surgery on people born with congenital heart problems. The move is designed to improve standards and outcomes, but some parents of young patients have said they will be unable to cope with travelling long distances to another unit for treatment. Nursing Standard readers' panelists have their say on this controversial decision

Pete Hawkins is a staff nurse in the emergency department at Southmead Hospital, Bristol Pete Hawkins

Safe and effective care is essential, but it doesn’t sit well when it’s at the expense of patients’ ability to access a service - I have seen how tiring, frustrating and expensive it can be for patients travelling long distances to receive specialist treatment. Although I would begrudgingly agree that planners should prioritise safety and effectiveness over accessibility, a better outcome would

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