• The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital FT will no longer provide a paediatric surgery service
  • Decision comes after several reviews suggesting service would be better supported at a bigger provider
  • New provider not yet chosen, but ROH surgeons already carry out some procedures at Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Birmingham’s specialist orthopaedic hospital will stop providing paediatric surgery after an external review recommended moving the service to a bigger site. 

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation Trust announced the plan to move the service to another hospital or hospitals over the next few months.

The decision was drive by “sustainability” concerns, but the service remained safe, the trust said.

The trust currently performs 1500 paediatric operations a year.

In a statement published today, it said the decision came after two reviews last year, by the Care Quality Commission and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Heath, recommended improvement in paediatric care at the hospital.

While improvements had been made since, a recent West Midlands Quality Review Service report had still concluded, ”that paediatric inpatient surgery would be better delivered in a hospital setting with access to extensive centralised care facilities at all times”.

The trust’s statement said: “The board has made its decision to cease paediatric surgery at ROH after careful consideration and in the best interests of children to ensure services are sustainable into the future and meet Royal College standards.”

A paper that went to the trust board this month shows that West Midlands review was particularly concerned about out of hours paediatric cover, cancelled operations, and several serious incidents.

The trust said it had not decided where the services would go.

However surgeons at the Royal Orthopaedic already carry out all paediatric spinal operations at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

All currently booked paediatric appointments and surgery would go ahead as normal, the trust said.

HSJ revealed last month that Royal Orthopaedic was receiving additional oversight from the Birmingham and Solihull Sustainability and Transformation Partnership, amid concerns about 18-week referral to treatment performance.