Campaign wins reprieve for heart disease centres

NHS England saves four cardiac surgery services provided they meet new care standards.

NHS England saves four cardiac surgery services provided they meet new care standards.

Picture: Alamy


Under-threat cardiac surgery services for children and adults have been saved as part of a review introducing new safety standards.

Units, including those at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester and Royal Brompton Hospital in London, will continue to provide level one – highly specialist and surgical – services following long-running campaigns to retain them.

The units were among eight centres providing child or adult congenital heart disease care whose services were under review as part of a reorganisation by NHS England.

However, NHS England has decided to give four units a reprieve provided they meet new safety standards, such as ensuring every operation is conducted by a specialist doctor who carries out at least three surgical procedures a week.

Under the plans, four other centres will stop providing level two congenital heart disease services, including cardiology interventions in adults.

Vote of confidence

Welcoming the decision for Glenfield, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust chief executive John Adler said: ‘The decision is a vote of confidence for our staff and service, and is great news for our NHS partners across the East Midlands network.’

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will provide level one services alongside Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which provides level two services, as part of the North West congenital heart disease network.

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals will also provide level one services until at least March 2021.

Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust will seek to develop into one of the world’s largest centres.

Those ceasing to provide level two services include Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London; Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust; and University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust.

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