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Heart unit closure decision to be referred to Secretary of State for Health

Today’s meeting has resulted in unanimous agreement to refer the decision made by the Joint Committee for Primary Care Trusts to close the children’s heart surgery unit in Leeds to the Secretary of State for Health.“The Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Yorkshire and the Humber will immediately start to collate information to support our submission, and we will meet again in the very near future to endorse the completed documents.”

– Councillor John Illingworth, chair of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Yorkshire and the Humber)

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Doncaster council supports LGI heart campaign

Chief Officers and politicians - including the Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies, and Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Glyn Jones - have joined other Yorkshire local authorities in calling to reverse a decision to close the Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Unit.

Doncaster councillors supported an urgent motion earlier this month. The Council’s Chief Executive, Jo Miller, has also written to the Department of Health’s Secretary of State, Rt Hon Andrew Andrew Lansley MP, encouraging urgent reconsideration of the decision.

“I am dismayed by the decision to close this unit in Leeds and I hope that the matter is urgently reconsidered. There is a unanimous feeling in Doncaster that the proposed changes would leave the Yorkshire and Humber region at a severe disadvantage and I don’t want to see vulnerable residents and their families suffering any further risk through longer travelling times.”

– Mayor of Doncaster, Peter Davies

Protest to keep children's heart surgery in the region

Campaigners have taken to the streets today as they fight to overturn a decision to end children's heart surgery in our region - and send young patients to specialist centres elsewhere in the country instead.

Estimates vary - but anywhere between a thousand and three thousand people turned out to voice their anger, accusing those in charge of the nationwide review of ignoring them. As Lisa Adlam reports, today in Leeds they were determined to be heard.

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Leeds heart unit - renewed campaign

Surgery being done at the heart unit in Leeds Credit: Calendar News

Campaigners will march through Leeds today as part of their fight to save the children's heart surgery in the city.

Parents, medical staff and MPs are encouraging people to join the demonstration. Earlier this month, a review concluded surgery at Leeds General Infirmary should be stopped so care can be concentrated at fewer, larger sites.

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