Press Release

Committee Calls on Minister to Halt Review of Children's Heart Surgery

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Thursday, 15 November 2012

Reference: HSSPS 04/12/13

The Assembly’s Health Committee is calling on the Health Minister to put on hold the current review process into the future of local provision for children’s heart surgery.

The review was modelled after a similar exercise in England, entitled the Safe and Sustainable Review, which recommended that paediatric heart surgery be carried out in a small number of specialist units.

The Safe and Sustainable Review is now itself under review and the Health Committee is calling on the Health Minister to put the local process on hold and fundamentally review the terms of reference for considering the future of children’s heart surgery.

Notes to Editors:

On 14 November, the Health Committee visited the Clark Clinic at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children where children’s heart surgery is carried out. The Committee met with the doctors and nurses and listened to their concerns about the proposal that children’s heart surgery should no longer be carried out in Belfast. The Committee then took evidence from the Children’s Heartbeat Trust.

The Committee is writing to the Minister and awaits a response.

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