An Oxford hospital has suspended child cardiac surgery pending the results of an external investigation into the deaths of four children over the past three months.

Twenty six children are awaiting heart surgery at the hospital. Those who need urgent treatment will be offered operations elsewhere.

A hospital statement said the four children had been "very sick." It read: "Pediatric cardiac surgery outcomes are nationally validated and the data is published. Oxford has been within normal outcome ranges."

The statement added that it was "right that we take a pause while we look in to the individual cases, to see if there is anything to learn from them."

The four children had congenital heart problems and had been receiving care at the hospital before their operations.