- Clare Dyer
A full review of the proposal to close three children’s heart surgery units in England has been ordered by the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt.
The review, by the independent reconfiguration panel of the Department of Health, follows hard fought campaigns by staff and patients’ groups and lobbying by local politicians to try to save the units.
The axing of children’s congenital heart surgery services at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, Leeds General Infirmary, and Glenfield Hospital in Leicester was recommended by the “Safe and Sustainable” review of children’s congenital heart services, with the aim of concentrating complex operations in fewer but larger units.1
The plan to concentrate services at seven centres in England was prompted by the inquiry into children’s heart surgery deaths in Bristol between 1984 and 1995, which found that some children …