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But determined parents lobbied officials, highlighting the work of the well-established Birmingham unit which has saved many children's lives, and NSCAG reversed its plans.
However, parents lobbied officials, highlighting the work of the Birmingham unit, which is well established and has saved many children's lives, and NSCAG reversed its plans.
Copies of The Post were sent to the 16 members NSCAG, who would advise Ministers on the final decision.
The decline in donor organs meant surgeons were not carrying out enough operations to keep their skills up to date, NSCAG argued.
NSCAG recommended Papworth, the Freeman and Harefield should continue to carry out transplants but only one centre from Birmingham, Sheffield and Manchester should remain open.
Let us hope that the review of heart transplants, also being carried out by NSCAG, which will decide the future of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's transplant unit, will also include the same genuine consultation with those affected and willingness to take onboard the arguments which make it clear the centre must remain open.
NSCAG has now agreed to recommend the Children's Hospital as the second centre but the final decision will be made by Health Secretary Alan Milburn early next year.
Mr Milburn is expected to announce the recommendations of the NSCAG review soon after the Bristol report is published.
NSCAG is currently reviewing a range of services, including the treatment of children's eye cancer, which is likely to lead to the closure of the eye cancer unit at the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Birmingham.
The figures are published in NSCAG's annual report 1999/2000.
NSCAG has proposed reducing the number of heart transplant centres due to a 20 per cent drop in the number of donors in the past five years.
Following the revelations, the NSCAG last month consulted surgeons and the Birmingham-based Children's Liver Disease Foundation, which represents parents and patients, to discuss the issue.
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