Decision On Freeman Hospital Heart Unit

5 July 2012, 05:58

Newcastle's Freeman Hospital will carry on doing surgery on children with heart problems after a decision was made last night.

It's part of a national review of paediatric cardiac surgery called 'Safe and Sustainable', which is recommending that fewer, larger centres should be created in England.

The decision means the heart unit at Leeds General will stop doing operations and patients and their families will have to travel to Newcastle instead.

The Children's Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital is one of only two centres in the UK offering paediatric heart transplant and bridge to transplant, with transplant numbers increasing to the point where the unit now provides almost half of the UK's children transplants.

Around 300 small babies and children are operated on each year by the children's heart surgeons at the Freeman Hospital.

Out of 33,000 babies born in the Northern region each year, around 300 need surgery.

The Freeman Hospital's one of only 2 hospitals in the UK that performs children's heart transplants and that use mechanical hearts to keep children alive until their heart either recovers or can be transplanted.

Since 1987 over 250 children have received a transplant.

Here's some of your reaction to the news from Twitter:
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The Options
Only Option D would see the Freeman Hospital stopped from doing operations - in the end, it was Option B that was chosen 

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

The preferred two London centres in the four options are:
* Evelina Children's Hospital
* Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children

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