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Children’s heart surgery reconfigurations considered

NHS England is working to find a solution for the provision of children’s heart surgery, after a judicial review found the Safe and Sustainable conclusions were reached unlawfully.

Chair Professor Malcolm Grant wrote a letter to health secretary Jeremy Hunt setting out the need to look at the entire pathway of services, and the importance of considering all the evidence before submitting firm proposals for reconfiguration.

The letter reads: “We are absolutely committed to achieve the service change required for these very vulnerable patients. We will exploit the full potential of NHS England as the sole national commissioner, and do so in a way that properly engages all interested parties, but at sufficient pace to mitigate the risks of further delay.”

While Grant acknowledged the Safe and Sustainable proposals could not be implemented, he highlighted “some very good work” around the development of their conclusions.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We want to listen to the views of patients and clinicians to hear what they think will provide the safest and highest standard of services for patients and their families.

“I look forward to receiving further updates on this work from NHS England, and reaching a conclusion in the best interests of patients and families across the country.”

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