BOSSES of the NHS trust that runs Harefield Hospital have hit out at a decision to close a child heart surgery and intensive care unit at its sister hospital.
The Royal Brompton in Chelsea is one of three specialist units in England which are to stop performing child heart surgery procedures, following a meeting of the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT).
As part of the proposals, Royal Brompton will also lose its children’s intensive care unit. The closures could mean a 10 per cent reduction in funds for the trust, which many fear will lead to redundancies at both sites.
Bob Bell, chief executive of the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, said: “It is very difficult to know what to say at times like these. It is even more difficult to try to understand how this committee could have come to such a decision.
“I will now discuss this decision with the trust’s Board and Governors’ Council to determine our next steps. One thing is certain – I will not be asking them for the mandate to manage the destruction of a highly valued and respected children’s unit.”
Earlier this year, the trust lost a high court battle with the JCPCT over the plans. It was ordered to pay £1.2 million in costs.
Re-Beat, the support group of Harefield Hospital, in Hill End Road, voiced concerns over the costs but also supported calls for the unit to stay.