FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday 16 March, 2011
Politicians at the London Assembly have condemned recommendations to stop children’s heart surgery at Royal Brompton Hospital, unanimously calling on Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to rethink proposals. Assembly members agreed to write to the Secretary of State after hearing today (March 16) how the loss of the paediatric cardiac surgery unit at the hospital will threaten patients living with a range of serious conditions.
The Chair of the Assembly will write to the Health Secretary after hearing about a proposed reconfiguration by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts last month. The JCPCT has recommended children’s heart services at Royal Brompton are discontinued, despite an assessment report which gave the hospital a weighted score of joint fourth out of ten, of all centres in England.
A Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust spokesperson said: “We believe the recommendations put forward for consultation by the JCPCT are fundamentally flawed and very much welcome this backing from the Assembly.”
Closing the children’s heart surgery unit at Royal Brompton Hospital will have serious knock-on effects for people with heart and lung conditions, and on related health services, the London Assembly warned today.The Trust’s paediatric cardiac surgery service has an excellent safety record and paediatric mortality rates are less than half the national average (0.9% versus 2%).
Victoria Borwick, Assembly Memberwho proposed the motion, said:“This specialist unit at the Royal Brompton has saved the lives of so many children in London and continues to be a vital service for many families. The proposal to close it has come at the eleventh hour, with no medical reasoning to support it.
“This is the only centre in London that offers cradle to adulthood care for people with serious heart and lung problems. Closing it defies all logic and would have grievous and far-reaching consequences.”
The motion was seconded byCaroline Pidgeon, Assembly Member, who said: “The decision to close such a high-performing centre simply makes no sense. It fails to take into account the impact on people treated there, and the knock-on effects the loss of a specialist unit has on the other health services that work alongside it.
“The Royal Brompton has put forward an alternative proposal to join up its services with similar centres at two other London hospitals. Surely this is a more sensible option than just closing this life-saving centre.”
Read the London Assembly's press release.
For further information, please contact:
Head of Media Relations
Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 020 7351 8672 (Brompton), Tel: 01895 828 877 (Harefield)
Mobile: 07866 536 345