HC Deb 04 December 1973 vol 865 cc336-7W
Mr. Spriggs

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will look into the problems which have brought about the closing of a ward at the Royal Liverpool Children Hospital originally used for hole-in-the-heart operations ; how many children are waiting for urgent heart operations ; how long they are expected to be on the waiting list ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alison

Advances made in the treatment of congenital heart disease have greatly increased demands on scarce resources of highly trained staff and complex equipment. Cases needing urgent investigation or surgery are dealt with promptly but others may have to wait for up to two years depending upon the nature of the illness. At present 200 children are on the waiting list.

New facilities recently completed in Manchester will reduce the load on the Liverpool Unit, since many patients come from the Manchester area.