More than half of the district general hospitals in England are not fit to handle emergency cases for children which could require surgery, according to a new report compiled by the Royal College of Surgeons.
With specialist hospitals handling more and more complex surgery cases such as cancer and trauma care, local hospitals are concentrating on minor health problems such as appendicitis or hernia.
However while majority of the local hospitals have the facility for minor surgeries, more than half of the 305 hospitals studied in the research did not carry out even basic emergency operations.
One of the major reasons for the inability of the local hospitals to conduct basic surgeries was the lack of experience and training among the staff.
Lead researcher Su-Anna Boddy said that the falling standards at local hospitals meant that families in some areas are unable to provide the best care for their children, a point concurred by health minister Anne Milton.
"Surgery for children can often be a traumatic time for them and their families. So it's vital that we improve general surgery facilities for children in hospitals as local to them as far as possible", Milton said.