Northern Ireland

Review of children's Belfast cardiac services

Surgeons operating on a patient

There is to be an external review of children's congenital cardiac services in Belfast.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said the Health and Social Care Board planned to carry out a review of congenital cardiac services for children.

Congenital cardiac disease is a rare condition particularly among children.

However, a UK database showed higher than expected mortality among children for a disorder known as tetralogy of Fallot, a serious heart abnormality.

The review will concentrate on operations performed between 2007 and 2010.

The BBC understands that at least three children died during this period.

A majority of children's heart operations are now carried out in England as the Belfast Health Trust has yet to replace a heart surgeon who retired in 2010.