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Adult heart services under review; Proposed care model outlined.

Byline: KATIE EARLAM

ADULT heart services across the UK are under review.

And that could affect a large number of Huddersfield people with heart defects.

Following the recent furore over the Leeds Children's Heart Unit, it seems adult services are the next in line for a reorganisation.

Although NHS Specialised Services has said there have been no discussions of centres closing at this stage and the review is not connected to children services, they are welcoming the opinion of the public on a new 'model' for care.

Kirklees Council's Wellbeing and Communities Scrutiny Panel agreed a response to the consultation over the regional centre in Leeds when it met at Huddersfield Town Hall.

The scrutiny panel backed the review but insisted that the public need to be very well consulted at every stage.

Kirklees scrutiny panel lead councillor, Viv Kendrick, said: "This is a very early stage of the consultation and it is something that will probably affect all authorities across West Yorkshire.

"The public must have the plans outlined clearly to them - it is essential."

The plan is to re-designate centres into three categories including local, intermediate and specialist.

An Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) local centre will work with other hospitals and the primary care trust to provide long term follow up care and provide the liaison with the cardiac network, local hospitals and primary care services.

It will carry out blood testing, x-rays, blood-pressure monitoring along with advice and access to support.

An intermediate care centre will deliver emergency care and impatient admission facilities 24 hours seven days a week. It will also provide support to the ACHD specialist centres and also to the local service.

It will not, however, perform any cardiac surgery or catheter management.

All specialist centres will be responsible for cardiac and vascular surgery. They will have links to transplant centres and surgeons in a specialist centre will have the ability to perform hybrid procedures.

Cardiac physiologists, echosonographers, psychologists, physiotherapists, and dieticians will be based at the specialist centre.

A specialised services spokesman said: "At the moment, the review of the ACHD services are in engagement stage. It is a very early stage of the process and we are seeking the opinions of clinicians and professional groups on the proposed model.

"This engagement period ends on July 27 and after this the advisory group will review all the feedback and revise and improve the model.

"Further down the line, this will go to public consultation.

"We have been consulting local primary care and hospital trusts."

Adult congenital heart disease affects people aged 16 and over living with a heart defect that developed in the womb and was present at birth.

The condition is relatively rare, affecting one in 133 people, but due to medical advancements people born with congenital heart disease survive in to adulthood, which means there is a growing population requiring ongoing care.
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 26, 2012
Words:482
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