Campaigners win heart unit bid

Campaigners from Leeds have won a High Court challenge over proposed changes to children's heart surgery services in England.

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Archbishop welcomes Leeds Children's Heart Surgery Unit High Court Decision

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.

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."

– Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York

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