Congenital Cardiac Services for Children

Part of Backbench Business — [29th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 1:31 pm on 23rd June 2011.

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Photo of Jason McCartney Jason McCartney Conservative, Colne Valley 1:31 pm, 23rd June 2011

My hon. Friend makes an important point. Many of those 14.5 million people are in rural areas, such as his North Yorkshire constituency. I will touch on that issue in relation to my Colne Valley constituency shortly.

I want to say a few words about the inconsistencies in the options. The Safe and Sustainable review has said consistently that centres should perform a minimum of 400 operations a year, and ideally 500. However, under option B, Bristol and Southampton would fail to achieve that number. The review’s projected figures show that they would perform 360 and 382 operations respectively. During the meeting in Leeds, campaigners were told that it was not viable to have three centres in the north of England because the figures would be 347 for Leeds and 381 for Newcastle. If option B is viable, why is it not viable to have three centres in the north of England? Would not a solution be to keep Leeds and Newcastle open, and to give them two years in which to achieve all the standards set out by the review?

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Howard Walker
Posted on 25 Jun 2011 9:30 am (Report this annotation)

Most of the people living within 2 hours of Leeds also live within 2 hours of Liverpool and nearly all live within 2 hours of Newcastle, which is where many of the specialists who attend and operate at the Leeds unit are based. Most of them will not wish to move to Leeds should the Newcastle unit close.

I predict that the only Northern unit that will close is the one at Liverpool, and this discussion is all an NHS / Government plan to fog the issue, leaving the planners free to get on with their work in peace.