Campaigners fighting to save the Leeds children's heart surgery unit say an appeal by the NHS against a previous High Court Ruling is a "disgraceful waste of time and taxpayers' money."
Pursuing this appeal serves no benefit to patients. Instead it is about protecting reputations and trying to salvage what is a flawed and thoroughly discredited process.
Greg Mulholland, the MP for Leeds North West has attacked the NHS's decision to try and appeal against a High Court ruling regarding the closure of the city's children's heart unit.
They are wasting yet more taxpayers money and instead, they should accept the justifiable criticism of the original decision and process and now seek to conduct a decision making process on the best future for children's heart surgery in England & Wales and do so impartially and in the best interests of patients.
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.
The NHS England is appealing against a ruling in the High Court which quashed a decision which could have lead to the closure of the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary.
Last month, a judge ruled that the decision to close the unit was based on flawed information. Campaigners fighting for the futiure of child heart surgery in Leeds tonight say they don't want the NHS to waste any more time and money and want them to withdraw their appeal.
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.
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.
MPs are to ask questions in parliament over the handling of the Children's Heart Unit crisis in Leeds. Hull North MP Diana Johnson MP and Pudsey, Horsforth and Airborough MP Stewart Andrew will raise the issue this afternoon.
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.
The battle over the future of children's heart services has taken a new twist, with public disagreement between leading experts.
A former Government advisor has said he would not send his own daughter for heart surgery in Leeds, but would choose Newcastle.
Following the comment, NHS England stepped in to reassure parents. The Medical Director for the North of England told ITV News Tyne Tees he would have 'no doubt' about using the Leeds unit.
Both facilities are under review as part of a nationwide shake-up.
Watch Helen Ford's report here:
Campaigners fighting to retain children's heart surgery in Leeds, have responded angrily to comments from a medical expert.
Professor Sir Roger Boyle, who is a former Government advisor, said he wouldn't send his own daughter for heart surgery in Leeds but would choose Newcastle instead.
Operations at the Leeds unit were recently suspended but resumed this week.
The NHS Medical Director for the North of England, Mike Bewick, has stepped into the debate saying if he had children who were in this position, he would have 'no doubt' he would take them to Leeds.
Meanwhile, Leeds children's heart unit campaigner Sharon Cheng gave this response to Professor Sir Roger Boyle's remarks: