1. ITV Report

Questions raised over data used to shut down Leeds children's heart unit days after High Court reprieve

File Photo: Questions over Leeds children's heart unit closure Photo:

All congenital heart surgery has been suspended at Leeds General Infirmary with immediate effect.

The suspension of both adult and children's surgery follows a number of claims made against the hospital, including some relating to patient welfare and fatality rates.

ITV News Correspondent Debi Edward reports:

Sir Bruce's decision was partly based on figures from the steering committee for the Central Cardiology Audit Database (CCAD), however the chairman of the committee has said that that data was 'not fit.'

I'm absolutely furious.

This data was not fit to looked at by anyone outside the committee.It was at a very preliminary stage and we are at the start of a long process to make sure the data was right and the methodology was correct.

We would be irresponsible if we didn't put in every effort to get the data right.

– DR JOHN GIBBS, CHAIRMAN OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE FOR THE CENTRAL CARDIOLOGY AUDIT DATABASE

The decision by The National Health Director Sir Bruce Keogh has met with vociferous opposition by the parents of patients and local MPs.

Sir Bruce Keogh said this morning that the data showed Leeds to have a mortality rate that was twice the national average. Now we discover that the person responsible for the data Dr John Gibbs, chairman of the steering committee for the Central Cardiology Audit Database (CCAD), is reported to have said that the mortality figures were preliminary, had not undergone the usual rigorous checking process and were not fit to be looked at by anyone outside the committee.

The only way to resolve this is for the data - with all the caveats included - to be published immediately so that it can be examined, and I urge the Secretary of State to do so without delay.

– HILARY BENN, MP FOR LEEDS CENTRAL

The closure of the ward comes just days after campaigners from Leeds won a High Court challenge over proposed changes to children's heart surgery services in England after a judge ruled that the consultation process leading to the NHS decision had been flawed.

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