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Three children’s heart surgery units to close 13 years after Bristol inquiry

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 05 July 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e4635
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Children’s heart surgery units at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, at Leeds General Infirmary, and at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester are to close as the NHS in England concentrates care in seven regional networks.

The decision, reached in a day long meeting by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts, marks the end of a long and fiercely fought battle to reorganise paediatric heart surgery in the wake of the investigation into deaths at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. Eleven centres will become seven, because the three that failed to be selected join a fourth, the John Radcliffe in Oxford, which stopped such operations after a number of deaths in 2010.

The changes will be implemented in 2014 and will involve seven remaining units, at Great Ormond Street and Evelina Children’s Hospitals in London, the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, Alder Hey in Liverpool, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, and Southampton General Hospital. The conclusion, reached after one of the largest consultations ever in NHS history and a legal challenge by the …

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