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MERSEY HEART PATIENTS SENT TO SCOTLAND.

Byline: LUCIE McFALL

PATIENTS in Liverpool waiting for heart bypass surgery are being treated at a private hospital in Scotland because of a shortage of beds.

Forty people on the waiting list at the Cardiothoracic Centre at Broadgreen Hospital will undergo treatment at the Health Care International Hospital in Glasgow.

Patients who have been waiting up to 12 months for coronary artery bypass graft surgery or heart valve replacement surgery will be offered the chance to travel to Clydebank instead.

The Cardiothoracic Centre Liverpool NHS Trust, which carries out 1,600 operations a year, has been given extra funding to pay for the private treatment which will cost between pounds 250,000 and pounds 300,000 in total.

The private operations will be carried out between October and December and patients will be driven to the hospital accompanied by a attendant.

One week's accommodation for a relative or close friend will also be paid for.

Chief executive Michael Bone said the Glasgow hospital was chosen because of its excellent facilities.

He said: "We were given money from the government for the operations as part of the NHS plan to extend cardiothoracic services and it is not coming from our budget.

"Any patient who is offered the operation in Glasgow and declines will remain on the waiting list in the same position - it will have no impact on when they have the operation in Liverpool.

"I would like all patients to undergo the operations in Liverpool but we are doing as many as we can.

"This is a one-off but if we are given the extra funding next year and it is successful, we may do it again."
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 20, 2001
Words:277
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