Emergency operations on children in South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire should be done at certain hospitals, say doctors

Doctors say emergency operations on children in South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire should be done at certain hospitals - in a change to previous plans.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Friday, 20th March 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 2:07 pm

Health bosses have taken the decision to change the way some children’s surgery and anaesthesia services are provided in South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire.

It was agreed that children needing an emergency operation for a small number of conditions, at night or at a weekend, would not be treated in hospitals in Barnsley, Chesterfield and Rotherham.

Instead, they would have their surgery at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Sheffield Children’s Hospital or Pinderfields General Hospital in Wakefield.

Sheffield Children's Hospital. Picture: Marie Caley

Doctors have now revised this and say three operations can be done at district hospitals.

They say post-tonsillectomy bleeding, foreign body in the airway, and torsion of the testes operations should carry on being provided in local hospitals, with no change.

The other recommendation is that children aged under eight, or with complex needs, who need surgery on their appendix should be operated on at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. This would affect around 45 children a year.

In a report, health officer James Scott says: "The number of appendectomies undertaken in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw each year on children under eight is very small - some surgeons in some of the district general hospitals had only been exposed to one or two in the past five years.

"Children under eight are not small adults and if they need an appendectomy, it is better and safer for them to be seen by a surgeon who is trained to and regularly operates on children their size. It would involve moving these children from district hospitals to Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

"More care will be retained closer to home than was originally agreed. Children with three of the conditions will now have their surgery provided in their local hospitals, as it is currently, and patients will not have to travel to one of the three out of hours hubs as had previously been agreed."

A scrutiny committee was due to consider these recommendations and give its views but the meeting has been postponed during the coronavirus.