Heart unit axed

The children's heart surgery unit is to close. But campaigners say they will continue to fight to keep it open

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MPs pledge support for heart unit

MPs & Peers meet Children's Heart Surgery Unit campaigners
MPs & Peers meet Children's Heart Surgery Unit campaigners Credit: CHSF

Over 30 peers and MPs from across Yorkshire, the Humber and North East Lincolnshire were represented at a meeting with trustees from the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, at the House of Commons, to show their support for the charity’s renewed fight to save children’s heart surgery in the region.

Representatives from the charity used the opportunity to discuss the flaws and inaccuracies they feel were apparent in the review, which concluded that heart surgery would be stopped at the Leeds General Infirmary, leaving Yorkshire, the Humber and North East Lincolnshire without a dedicated unit.

The meeting also outlined the charity’s plans for fighting the decision through the ministerial route. Children’s Heart Surgery Fund director, Sharon Cheng, said: “ The outcry from patients and parents has been overwhelming and we are glad that the MPs are listening to their constituents.

“We believe the process and decision is fundamentally flawed. We are going to keep fighting as we believe the case for Leeds has never been stronger.” Last year over 600,000 people signed a petition supporting the children’s heart unit at the LGI.

Children's heart surgery campaigners are "defiant"

Campaigners fighting to keep Yorkshire's only children's heart surgery unit open are defiant - despite the devastating news that operations there are to stop, with young patients and their families having to travel elsewhere - most likely, Newcastle.

After a 2 year campaign, NHS bosses rejected a six hundred thousand name signature and the fact that families now face hours of travelling for life-saving treatment. Tina Gelder has this report.

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Kirklees Council leader hits out at heart surgery decision

Mehboob Khan
Mehboob Khan Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Leader of Kirklees Council Mehboob Khan has hit out at the decision to end children’s heart surgery in Leeds. The move means that families will now have to travel to Newcastle or Liverpool for life-saving surgery. He vowed to fight on with supporters to push for the decision to be reconsidered.

“There are many reasons why this decision is a disaster for families in our area. The travelling time, the expense, the loss of expert support from the region, the numbers of people that will need to use the chosen hospitals ," he said.

"600,000 people who signed the biggest petition in the history of the NHS can’t all be wrong! But while we have lost this battle, we must still campaign to win the war and work at the highest levels of government to see the decision overturned. "

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Sheffield MP's heart unit concern

Sheffield Heeley MP, Meg Munn, has expressed her dismay at a decision taken by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts today which will end surgery at a specialist children’s heart unit in Yorkshire.

The decision today, means that children and families from Sheffield will have to travel much further for life-saving surgery. I know this will be devastating news to the many thousands of families and campaigners from across our region who have fought so hard to keep surgery at the Leeds unit. I believe the campaign presented a very strong case for keeping children’s heart surgery at the Leeds unit and we will want to look closely at the basis on which today’s decision has been made.

– Meg Munn, MP for Sheffield Heeley

MP vows to fight on for heart unit

The MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough has vowed to keep up the fight against the closure of Leeds General Infirmary’s Children’s heart surgery unit that was announced earlier today.

I have campaigned hard with a lot of passionate people, so as you can expect, we are all sad to hear the news.But this isn’t the end of the road. With local MPs, I will be looking at all the options one of which could be to take the decision to judicial review.I will continue to support the heart unit all the way and work with campaigners to ensure it stays open.All those who have been involved in this campaign must be praised for their hard work and I’m sure none of them will give up hope.

– Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough
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