The Taxpayers Alliance has criticised the ongoing process of deciding the future of children's heart surgery in the country.
Campaigners from Yorkshire are still celebrating after yesterday's victory at the High Court when it was ruled the planned closure was based on a consultation process which was unfair and flawed. But Robert Oxley from the Taxpayers' Alliance says questions need to be answered.
Following a Judicial Review that found the consultation process leading to the proposed closure of the Children's Heart Unit in Leeds was flawed, the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts has released the following statement.
“I am very disappointed with the Court’s decision. The pressing need to reform children’s heart services is long overdue and experts have cautioned that further delay in achieving the necessary change would be a major setback in improving outcomes for children with heartdisease.
We do not yet know what the Court will decide in terms of next steps. We are making representations to the Court that it should not quash the decision in its entirety as the Claimant seeks. Once we have the Court’s judgment on this point we will strongly consider the possibility of appeal.
– Sir Neil McKay CB, Chair of the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts
The Claimant wishes for the NHS to abandon its plans for there configuration of children’s heart services against the express wishes of the vast majority of respondents to consultation. I never forget that the purpose of our work is saving lives and improving quality of life for children, and on behalf of the NHS I want to reassure families, patients and clinicians that we remain as determined as ever to reconfigure services for children with congenital heart disease in the interests of better outcomes and a more safe and sustainable service for children and their families”.
Campaigners have claimed a momentous victory in the battle to save the children's heart surgery unit in Leeds from closure.
It's the only one of its kind in the whole region. The High Court has agreed with parents and doctors that its planned closure was based on a consultation process which was unfair and flawed.
It's a lifeline for the Save Our Surgery campaigners but it doesn't guarantee that the unit will stay open.
It is great news that the High Court today has upheld the legal challenge brought by local campaigners, asking for all the evidence and facts to be considered before a decision is taken to close paediatric heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary.
The Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts' review process and decision to remove children's heart surgery services from Leeds was unjust and flawed. It is utterly unjustified and unethical that the Leeds Unit could be earmarked for closure without the full facts being properly considered.
Earlier this year, I visited the Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Unit, to see the life-saving work that they are taking on a daily basis. These hardworking NHS staff are doing incredible work.
The Leeds Unit serves the whole region and has saved the lives of so many across Yorkshire and further afield over the years. This is one of the top performing units in the country and it is the only one with the recognised ‘gold standard’ of having the co-location of all paediatric services that are required.
– Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York
I hope that the Independent Review which has been set up to re-examine the provision of heart surgery across the country is carried out properly and makes its decisions based on hard evidence. It is vital that the right decisions are made as this will determine how children with congenital heart disease are treated for decades to come – we cannot afford to rush and make a bodge job of this."
Campaigners are celebrating victory after winning an historic legal challenge over the controversial plans to axe children's heart surgery in Leeds. The Save Our Surgery group said the consultation process was "unfair and flawed". Tina Gelder reports.
Excellent news about The Children's Heart Unit in Leeds. Huge well done to all the campaigners. #Leeds
So pleased the high court ruled in Leeds favour re closing childrens heart unit! Original review process unlawful!
Leeds Children's heart unit win High Court challenge >4 mil people in Yorks & my daughter would have been at a loss without @chsurgeryfund
– Health Minister Anna Soubry
This is an extremely emotive and complex area and a matter of real concern to the patients and families and those who work in this area.
Ensuring paediatric heart surgery services across the country are safe and deliver the very best outcomes for children in the future is what we all want.The Safe and Sustainable review of children’s congenital heart services was a NHS review independent of Government. It is now for the JCPCT and from 1 April the NHSCB to consider the court’s ruling.
Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:
– Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary
This is a significant and important victory for the campaign to keep children's heart surgery at Leeds.Labour supports the principles behind the review but, last summer, we raised our concerns at the site selection.In our view, it leaves a huge swathe of the east of England without a surgical centre and concentrates services on the west of the country.These issues matter greatly to families across Yorkshire and it is essential that the process is seen to be open and fair.
– Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary
We await the report of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel but the Government must respond to this ruling soon and set out a clear way forward in which everyone can have confidence.