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Health secretary suspends reconfiguration of children’s heart surgery in England

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f3856 (Published 13 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3856
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

Plans to concentrate children’s heart surgery in seven of 10 units in England and to close the other three have been suspended after an independent panel commissioned by the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, concluded they were based on “a flawed analysis.”

The decision to concentrate services, taken last July as part of the “Safe and Sustainable” review of paediatric congenital heart surgery, sparked controversy, and two of the units earmarked to stop providing the surgery challenged the move in the High Court.

The Royal Brompton Infirmary in London was unsuccessful, but Hunt referred the issue to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) after campaigners for Leeds General Infirmary launched the legal action that led to a victory in …

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