Appeal Over Leeds Heart Unit Closure

4 July 2012, 19:32

Campaigners in Yorkshire say they will fight on to try and save the only children's heart surgery unit in the county.

It was confirmed yesterday that because of a safety shake up three out 10 specialist units in England will stop performing heart surgery on children and the unit in Leeds will close.  

An NHS review said expertise was spread too thinly across the 10 sites and there should be centres of excellence in fewer hospitals. 

Children living in Yorkshire will be treated in Liverpool or in Newcastle in the future.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member responsible for public health said: “Leeds City Council condemns the decision by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts to close the children’s heart surgery unit in Leeds. 

"There is absolutely no doubt that the loss of this facility will have a serious and detrimental impact on ill and vulnerable children and their families right across our region. 

“The decision will leave 5.5 million people in Yorkshire and Humberside, and 14 million people living within a two hour drive of Leeds severely and disproportionately disadvantaged. We will be making an immediate referral of the decision to the Secretary of State for Health, given the significance this decision has for the population of our region and our local health services.”

It's thought Leeds General Infirmary, the Royal Brompton in Chelsea and Glenfield Hospital in Leicester stop providing surgery after 2013 as plans to implement the new streamlined service are still being developed. 

Once they stop providing surgery the units will still see patients for diagnosis, monitoring and non-surgical treatment. 

The seven surgical centres will be the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, Birmingham Children's Hospital, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Southampton General Hospital and 2 centres in London.

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