Heart unit team support

Staff from the region's only children's heart surgery unit are taking part in a display of support for the unit by releasing balloons for every procedure from the last three years.

Balloons released for heart unit

Two thousand, one hundred and one balloons are released at Leeds General Infirmary .... marking every interventional and surgical procedure conducted by the unit for children and adults in the last three years.

The gathering took place on the day that the Independent Reconfiguration Panel is due to report its recommendations on the future of children's heart surgery services to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Heart unit staff: "we should acknowledge the team's accomplishments"

On the day that the Independent Reconfiguration Panel is due to report its recommendations on the future of children's heart surgery services to Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, staff from the unit at Leeds General Infirmary are gathering to mark the procedures carried out over the last three years.

"We feel very strongly that we should acknowledge the team's accomplishments and the expert care that the heart unit has given to thousands of children and their families over the last three years.

Surgery is a critical part of the care we give to patients, but it's also important to highlight that congenital cardiac care involves far more than surgical procedures. We have an excellent national reputation for the interventional cardiology work that we do. It is hugely successful and can offer many of our young patients an alternative to open-heart surgery. That's why we've chosen to mark all procedures conducted by the unit.

– Elspeth Brown, Lead Cardiologist at the Children's heart unit

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Leeds heart unit: "the team remains strong"

The group behind the campaign to keep surgery going in Leeds, Save our Surgery, says that despite hurdles the team working there "remains strong" and will show their support for the unit at an event today.

This is a significant show of support and celebration from the Leeds cardiac team, who have had to deal with incredible stress over the last few weeks while continuing their absolute focus on the care of children. The team remains strong, going above and beyond for each and every patient and family that comes to the Unit and they want to show how proud they are of the Unit by coming together in this way.

– Sharon Cheng, Save Our Surgery

Hospital team supports children's heart unit

More than 200 clinical staff from Leeds General Infirmary will gather outside the hospital today to show their support for the region's only Children's Heart Surgery Unit.

Surgeons, cardiologists and nurses from the unit will join with colleagues from departments that rely on the unit, such as maternity and neonatal, to release 2101 balloons, marking every interventional and surgical procedure conducted by the Unit for children and adults in the last three years.

The gathering takes place on the day that the Independent Reconfiguration Panel is due to report its recommendations on the future of children's heart surgery services to Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.