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Child heart survival rates online

Parents of children with heart defects can now find details of survival rates for specialist cardiac hospitals on the internet.

Information relating to units treating congenital heart disease in youngsters has been put online by the NHS Information Centre (IC).

The move comes after the Bristol Inquiry report, published in 2001, that concluded parents should have the right to more information about procedures.

The report examined the care children needing cardiac surgery received at Bristol Royal Infirmary between 1984 and 1995.

It found that a third of children received "less than adequate care" and between 30 and 35 more children died there between 1991 and 1995 than would normally be expected.

The Congenital Heart Disease Website is the first of its kind in the world, and lists all UK units that treat the disease.

The site is divided into sections, such as information for patients, national data and performance by operation. It also lists telephone numbers, the names of consultants and links to hospital websites.

Specialists from The Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, and The British Congenital Cardiac Association helped develop the portal, which is being funded by the Healthcare Commission.

IC chief executive Professor Denise Lievesley said: "We hope parents find the website a useful, additional source of information and that it helps them when they are discussing their child's treatment with their doctor or specialist."

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The Congenital Heart Disease Website