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Poots receives paediatric cardiac services report

Health Minister Edwin Poots today received the preferred option document for the future commissioning of paediatric cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology for the population of Northern Ireland.
Thursday, 25 April 2013

The document, developed by a Working Group which included clinicians, parents of children with congenital cardiac disease, parents’ group representatives, service providers and commissioners, was submitted by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB). It recommends a solution with surgery and interventional cardiology being carried out in Dublin and new investment in cardiology facilities, including MRI, in Belfast.

The Minister commented: “The Working Group has made a clear recommendation which involves building on the existing service provided by the Dublin paediatric cardiac surgery centre for the Belfast Trust. However, before I make my decision I want to take the opportunity to hold further discussions with our counterparts in the Republic of Ireland and explore the scope for flexibility in the location for the future delivery of this service without compromising any aspect of patient safety.

“My key priority in all of this is to ensure the delivery of a safe and sustainable service for these vulnerable children In so doing, I want to ensure that we have fully explored every possibility for addressing the concerns which have been raised with me by parents and by consultants.

“I will now take time to consider the report and its recommendations in full and I will make my decision shortly.”

The Minister thanked everyone who took part in the consultation process as well as the Working Group set up by the HSCB, at the Minister’s request last August, to develop a commissioning framework for the future delivery of paediatric cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology for children from Northern Ireland.

The Minister said: “No-one should underestimate the sensitivity and scale of the task undertaken by the Working Group. I recognise that at times it has been a challenging and difficult process for all involved especially the families.

“I want to thank everyone who played a part for their energy, honesty and dedication. It is important that we recognise and thank, not just the Working Group, but all the mothers, fathers, grandparents and family members who came forward on behalf their own children to public meetings, focus groups or to speak to me directly.”

Notes to editors:

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