Review Into Children's Heart Surgery Out

A review into children's heart surgery is out, with the most support for the option that could see young patients still getting treatment in the Thames Valley.

75, 000 people took part as NHS managers decide which units to keep open.

At the moment young patients who have surgery at Southampton General can get post op care at the John Radcliffe in Oxford.

Cardiac units in England are being cut from 11 to 6 or 7 - with units at the John Radcliffe Hospital and Southampton General likely to go. But a detailed analysis of the consultation has found that option B - which includes Southampton is the most popular.

The idea is to create fewer, more specialised centres across the country.

The report shows 70% of people who'd had experience of a hospital included it in their choice - but that dropped to 39 percent for people with experience at the John Radcliffe.

But Maria Crocker from Berinsfield has got an 8-year-old son with a heart condition. She told Heart she doesn't want to have to take him somewhere else;

"It's scary enough having to have an operation - any kind of an operation for a child is a trauma but to have to move them to a location which isn't in their local area is horrifying for a poor child." But she's told Heart she's backing option B as Southampton has a good reputation.

Professor Ted Baker, Medical Director at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust said;

"We are pleased that this latest report shows such great support for Option B. This is the option which includes Southampton University Hospitals as a surgical centre and the one that the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust supports.

“Oxford and Southampton have been working together for well over a year now to develop the South of England Children’s Congenital Heart Network, a joint collaboration which enables Oxford patients to have the majority of their care based in Oxford."

A large number of responses referred to the Oxford-Southampton model as a good example of partnership working.

The comprehensive report is now being provided to the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts, the decision making body for the Safe and Sustainable review, to help evaluate the four options. A final decision is expected by the end of the year.

The options for reconfiguring the service are:

Option A

Seven surgical centres at:

Freeman Hospital, Newcastle
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool
Glenfield Hospital, Leicester
Birmingham Children's Hospital
Bristol Royal Hospital for Children
2 centres in London

Option B

Seven surgical centres at:

Freeman Hospital, Newcastle
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool
Birmingham Children's Hospital
Bristol Royal Hospital for Children
Southampton General Hospital
2 centres in London

Option C

Six surgical centres at:

Freeman Hospital, Newcastle
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool
Birmingham Children's Hospital
Bristol Royal Hospital for Children
2 centres in London 

Option D

Six surgical centres at:

Leeds General Infirmary
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool
Birmingham Children's Hospital
Bristol Royal Hospital for Children
2 centres in London
London

The preferred two London centres in the four options are: 

Evelina Children’s Hospital
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

Those centres that are not chosen to continue to carry out surgery will not close, instead it is envisaged that they may become children’s cardiology centres.

Hospital Doctor/Nurse Audio Heart unit worries

More than 1000 people have joined a Facebook group against the possible closure of Oxford's children's heart surgery unit.

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