Thousands March To Save Yorkshire Heart Surgery
23 July 2012, 15:43
Parents, nurses and MPs have taken part in a demonstration against the proposed closure of a children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary.
The unit at Leeds is one of three up for closure following a safety review of children's heart services.
But campaigners say the closure would leave a population of 14 million people having to travel from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire to Newcastle, Liverpool and Birmingham for treatment.
Demonstrators wore Children's Heart Surgery Fund T-shirts and held banners and signs reading “SOS Save Our Surgery” and “Don't Break My Heart” as they gathered before a march around Leeds.
They cheered in the sunshine as speakers stood on the steps of Leeds Civic Hall and rallied the crowds.
MPs Stuart Andrew, Hilary Benn, Greg Mulholland and Ed Balls were among those taking part in the march.
A group of nurses joined the speaker on the steps with banners which read: “Proud to deliver gold standard care'' and “467 years of combined cardiac nursing experience lost”.
One nurse described the proposed decision as a “fundamentally flawed decision, which has ignored the voices of Yorkshire families”.
They chanted “we shall not be moved” as they marched around the city and back into Millennium Square.