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Surgery: Children

Health written question – answered on 3rd May 2011.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) whether he has taken account of the potential travel times to children's heart surgery units in determining the number and location of such units;

(2) when he expects to publish the favoured reconfiguration option for children’s heart surgery units; and what processes will be gone through before he makes his decision.

Photo of Simon Burns Simon Burns The Minister of State, Department of Health

The “Safe and Sustainable” review of children’s heart services in England is being conducted by the NHS Specialised Commissioning Team. We have however, been following its progress.

The Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) has been established as the formal body to undertake the consultation on the “Safe and Sustainable” review and to take the decision on the best reconfiguration option after analysis of the review responses.

A number of key criteria were taken into account when determining the options on number and location of children’s heart surgery units, which are currently out to consultation. These included travel times. The pre-consultation business case sets out details of the travel time analysis for all of the options. More information is at: Sustainable_Review_of_Childrens_Congenital_Cardiac_ Services_in_England_Pre_Consultation_Business_Case_l.pdf

No decision has yet been made on the number and locations of children’s heart surgery units. The proposed options for children’s heart surgery units are currently being consulted on. The consultation concludes on 1 July 2011 and includes a number of public consultation events across England and Wales as well as focused events with relevant professional associations.

The JCPCT will consider an independent analysis of the consultation responses, reports from overview and scrutiny committees, and a health impact assessment. The JCPCT is expected to make a decision in the autumn of 2011 and this will be published shortly afterwards.

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