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Top surgeons call to save Royal Brompton heart unit

From BBC - November 26, 2017

Two of Britain's top surgeons have called on NHS England to save a world-leading heart unit in London.

Heart transplant pioneer Sir Magdi Yacoub and cancer surgeon Lord Darzi said ending congenital heart disease (CHD) surgery at Royal Brompton Hospital would be a "disaster".

An NHS England's review recommends ending children's congenital heart surgery at Royal Brompton.

The decision "has been guided" by medical experts, NHS England said.

In an open letter, Lord Darzi, Sir Magdi and Baroness Boothroyd, a former patient of the hospital, said if Royal Brompton's CHD unit went it would render the whole hospital "unviable".

Royal Brompton is the largest specialist heart and lung medical centre in the UK and works with the children's unit at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, less than half-a-mile away.

But the hospital fails to meet new national guidelines for paediatric heart surgery, which require all children's services to be "co-located" on a single site.

If paediatric heart surgery was removed, the hospital may struggle to meet its targets of having at least three heart surgeons, each carrying out a minimum of 125 operations a year, which would put the whole CHD surgery unit under threat.

Medical experts

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