Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

'Lives are at risk' if Belfast heart unit closes

Edwin Poots

Removing some children's heart surgery from Belfast could put lives at risk, campaigners claimed.

Health Minister Edwin Poots is considering the future of services for youngsters with congenital heart birth defects at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

Concerns were expressed by the Expert Panel Safe and Sustainable Report that surgery for children with congenital heart disease isn't sustainable.

The Children's Heartbeat Trust wants an all-Ireland network to help ensure the viability of undertaking specialised surgery locally.

The Heartbeat Trust's Sarah Quinlan said: "It is clear that any removal of surgery from Belfast would put at risk the lives of children born with critical congenital heart problems which are impossible to diagnose before birth."

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