YOUNG people with congenital heart disease are being urged to attend an event that could affect children’s services in Oxford.

Managers from the Government’s Safe and Sustainable consultation will visit the Kassam Stadium on May 4.

The John Radcliffe Hospital has already stopped performing children’s heart surgery following four baby deaths.

The consultation will now decide the future of UK paediatric heart units which is likely to see fewer centres carrying out more operations.

Jude Kelly, chairman of the Young Hearts charity, said these changes could have a further impact on Oxford because it provides other children’s heart services through a link with hospitals in Southampton, amongst the centres outlined for closure.

She said: “The fear is that if surgery is concentrated into a small number of centres other services that are closely linked – like paediatric intensive care and fetal cardiology – will be affected.

“It could even affect children’s anaesthetics, which would have a major impact on the ability of the emergency department to treat any very sick children that come in.”

Paediatrician Dr Sue Hobbins, a member of the Safe and Sustainable Steering Group, said: “The rationale for change is supported by clinicians, professional associations and charities.”

The consultation runs until July 1. A decision on the proposals is expected in late 2011.

The meeting will be held from 6pm to 8pm.

To register to attend visit: or call 020 7932 3939.