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Heart unit latest: NHS says "there are good grounds for appeal."

The NHS in England says there are good grounds to appeal a decision made in the High Court regarding the future of children's heart surgery in Leeds.

Last month a judge ruled that the safe and sustainable review panel's decision to close the unit was based on flawed information.

In announcing their intention to appeal the ruling, NHS England tonight said:

NHS England believes that we must deliver this change as quickly as possible on behalf of children and their families. To do this, we need to take account of all the available information, including the recent High Court ruling of 27 March and the report on the issues that is due to be published by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

We have been advised that there are good grounds for appeal and these points are set out in an application that has been submitted to the Court of Appeal.

– NHS England statement

Children's heart surgery unit row doctor resigns

Professor Sir Roger Boyle has stepped down as director of the National Institute of Clinical Outcomes Research. He has been at the centre of the row over the future of the Leeds Children's Heart Surgery Unit.

He said that he would not want his daughter to be treated at Leeds. The comments led to him being taken off the review team that is overseeing changes to children's heart surgery.

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NHS review team say Sir Roger Boyle provided "expert advice"

The NHS review team which Sir Roger Boyle advised has said his statements about not wanting his daughter to be treated at Leeds General Infirmary does not call into question his previous advice and expertise.

The Safe and Sustainable review was ordered by health chiefs, and it decided in July to axe children’s heart surgery in Leeds - although this decision has now been overturned by the High Court after the way in which it reached this conclusion was called into question.

“Professor Sir Roger Boyle CBE provided expert advice to the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) as the Former National Director for Heart Disease and Stroke. He was well-placed to provide this advice given his vast experience in the field of paediatric cardiac care and his recent comments do not bring into question the advice he provided, which was clinical rather than centre-specific, focusing on the background to the review and to explain the ‘need for change’.”

– Spokesman for the Safe and Sustainable Review team

Breaking: Sir Roger Boyle will not take part in any investigations into Leeds heart unit

Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, has tweeted:

"Secretary of State announces that Sir Roger Boyle will play no further part in the Safe & Sustainable review."

Professor Sir Boyle had faced demands to step down over his claims that he would still not want his daughter to receive treatment at Leeds General Infirmary – even though it has reopened following a Government review.

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Mortality rates released for children's heart surgery

Mortality rates for all children's heart surgery centres have been released following the temporary suspension of operations at the Leeds unit. It comes following concerns about death rates at Leeds which emerged after Newcastle's Freeman Hospital was chosen as the designated heart surgery centre.

The Freeman was selected over Leeds General Infirmary following the biggest consultation the NHS has ever carried out. However that decision is now on hold after campaigners in Leeds won a high court battle which upheld concerns that the rating system used during the decision process was flawed.

Now, data released by NHS England shows that none of the 10 centres in England breached thresholds for child heart surgery deaths, however Leeds General Infirmary was very close to the alert level. Operations resumed at the unit on Wednesday following a safety review.

Mortality rates released for children's heart surgery

Mortality rates for all children's heart surgery centres have been released following the temporary suspension of operations at the region's only unit.

Data released by NHS England shows that none of the 10 centres in England breached thresholds for child heart surgery deaths, but Leeds General Infirmary was very close to the alert level. Operations resumed at the unit on Wednesday following a safety review.

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