Solution to kids’ surgery dilemma?
THE Children’s Heart Surgery Fund has put forward a solution to end the controversy over closing Leeds General Infimrary kids’ heart surgery unit.
If implemented it would see a recent decision by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts implemented elsewhere in England and keep both Leeds and Newcastle open, with a decision on their future delayed until April 2014.
The solution would only amount to a year’s pause, given reconfiguration of children’s heart surgery centres is not due until April 2014 and a decision taken on Newcastle and Leeds could be implemented from April 2015.
The PCT has been advised that it would take eight to ten years to move cardiac transplant services from Newcastle and has decided that the unit there should stay open, regardless of the fact that it will not be able to deliver 400 operations.
If after the one year pause commissioners did not think Newcastle had sufficient workload to meet this requirement, the Leeds unit would explore how they could support it.
Sharon Cheng, director of the fund, said: “We believe that the only way to ensure a truly safe and sustainable service for children in our region is to maintain the unit at Leeds – this is centrally located for the population it serves, has all associated medical and maternity services under one roof, and lies at the heart of a network regarded as ‘excellent’ by Professor Sir Ian Kennedy’s independent expert panel.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 16 C
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