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High Court Judge Imposes Death Sentences


fourm member

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The problems with child heart surgery in Bristol happened from 1990 to 1995, nearly 20 years ago.

Today's High Court ruling means the NHS is still not able to make the changes that will reduce the number of deaths resulting from surgeons not having enough practice for the most difficult cases.

Most of the media coverage seems to be suggesting this is a victory for patients but it is not. Until the changes in heart surgery are implemented children will die when they could have survived.

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Forum Editor

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spuds

These changes have the full support of The Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health - the two medical bodies who surely have the best possible reasons for wanting improved outcomes in children's' heart surgery. This type of surgery is arguably the most complex of all, and life-saving differences can be achieved by having the child in a place where the right people and the right facilities are concentrated. If my two-month old baby needed heart surgery to survive I wouldn't think twice about travelling "long distances for medical help."

You infer that it's a big problem, but I doubt that parents who are driven to distraction with worry are going to care about a few hours in an ambulance, or in a helicopter.

The Liverpool Pathway which you've introduced into your post, has nothing whatever to do with this, and neither does your account of problems with primary school issues - I'm not sure why you mention them.

Your comment that "this is like putting all your chicken's in one basket, it as very little to do with expertise." is totally incomprehensible - the new policy has everything to do with expertise, that's the whole point of it.

Your final paragraph isn't relative to this discussion - tens of thousands of people take part in medical research projects, and it's entirely up to you whether you say "stuff it, let people die"

I suggest that you read this and find out more about the facts. It's a PDF, but it's perfectly safe to download.

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fourm member

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'Because from my own experiences'

There lies the problem. People always think their experience is typical of a situation.

They read that scentific studies show 'A' but know that there experience was 'B'. Rather than accepting that, as the saying goes, there are exceptions to every rule they assume that the rule must be wrong.

I am sure that if anyone cared to do a bit of searching they would find a case where a child died during a journey to a distant hospital but that does not prove that travel to a distant facility is wrong in every case.

It is the usual problem about the difference between individuals and populations.

In this case, it is easy to find individuals who have suffered expense and inconvenience as a result of having to make long journeys to visit children in hospital but the population that will have better outcomes from heart surgery is more elusive.

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Woolwell

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FE - I am not against having some major centres of excellence but the locations have to be chosen carefully. The doctors then have to be "shunted" to those locations.

What seems to have happened with Leeds is that the case for moving hasn't been explained well (it is possible that it fell on death ears too) and the consultation didn't proceed correctly. It would seem that too often Government bodies fail to properly explain why decisions are being taken with the so called "bedroom tax" being another example.

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spuds

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Forum Editor

If you noticed,I was responding to fourm member and his primary school and "sound scientific studies" comments, hence bringing them into this discussion.

How can you truly suggest that my comment about "putting all your eggs in one basket" is incomprehensible?.

How can you also state that having 'expertise' in a few selected areas will apparently resolve the issues raised. The hospital I campaign for, already as 'expertise', and some of these people are not sure if they will have a job, if relocation takes place.

Once again you appear to be telling me that a personal comment is irrelevant to a post, you might think so, I think not, because that is how the world evolves. You very often bring your own personal experiences into discussions, why do you object to others doing the same. Yes it is solely up to me if I say Stuff It, but wouldn't it be a rather sad and sorrowful place if other like minded people refused to participate in these projects. I want no praise or special rewards, and I have never asked for any, because I do what I think any good citizen should do, and not like some who just want to reap all the benefits without putting any time or effort themselves. They have already said Stuff It.

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spuds

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Woolwell

Leeds is a pilot, there are other hospitals involved, and the same or similar poor consultations apply to them all.

The basics of this, is the government want and no doubt will eventually get what they have wanted all along. I think its called PR Spin, or put it another way - "We have consulted with the public and the professionals, and the way forward for a better future is to do what we have already decided".

I along with many other people have attended these meetings, and in all truth we have gone in baffled and come out the same way-baffled, because of the answers being given.

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fourm member

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Woolwell

'The doctors then have to be "shunted" to those locations.'

There's no 'shunting' to be done. The intention is to build teams of surgeons who can share experience and build expertise.

The sort of surgery involved is very complex and, thankfully, quite rare.

Under the present arrangments some surgeons may perform only one or two of the most complex operations a year.

Snooker players spend hours at the table before competing. Golfers have practice tees before they start.

You wouldn't want to give your prized Rolex to a watchmaker who only repaired one or two watches a year.

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fourm member

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spuds

'similar poor consultations apply to them all.'

And you know this how?

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Woolwell

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fourm member - You have to read the previous posts and the Guardian article to see why I used "shunted". I find your tone rather patronising and assumes that I don't understand the issues of complex surgery or the requirements of sportsmen. Nowhere have I argued against the establishment of these centres but only about the locations.

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Forum Editor

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spuds

"The basics of this, is the government want and no doubt will eventually get what they have wanted all along."

And your premise is that what the government wants is automatically wrong?

You don't seem to understand that the medical profession itself is behind this method of working - they, the doctors and surgeons have said that the way to get better outcomes is to ensure that children's heart surgery is carried out in centres where the staff can perform more than just a few operations each year. That way the surgeons will become more experienced, and they will be better placed to train the next generation in what are becoming increasingly sophisticated surgical techniques.

With the best will in the world that isn't going to happen in a hospital where only a few of these procedures are done each year.

The policy is supported by the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery in Great Britain and Ireland, The National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke, The Children’s Heart Federation, The British Congenital Cardiac Association, and The Adviser in Children and Young People's Nursing at The Royal College of Nursing, in addition to those I've already mentioned.

I imagine that all these organisations are motivated by the same thought - to provide sick children with a greater chance of surviving extremely complicated heart surgery. They have no political agenda, these are organisations which represent doctors, surgeons, and nurses.

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Forum Editor

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Woolwell

I don't think you can base a policy on the idea that you'll 'shunt' highly-skilled heart surgeons and support teams to wherever you happen to decide is a good place to have a specialist unit. The unit has to go where those people are already working.

There will no doubt be logistical and financial reasons for choosing one location over another.

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