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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Heart Unit: JCPT 'disappointed' over court's decision

Following a Judicial Review that found the consultation process leading to the proposed closure of the Children's Heart Unit in Leeds was flawed, the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts has released the following statement.

“I am very disappointed with the Court’s decision. The pressing need to reform children’s heart services is long overdue and experts have cautioned that further delay in achieving the necessary change would be a major setback in improving outcomes for children with heartdisease.

We do not yet know what the Court will decide in terms of next steps. We are making representations to the Court that it should not quash the decision in its entirety as the Claimant seeks. Once we have the Court’s judgment on this point we will strongly consider the possibility of appeal.

The Claimant wishes for the NHS to abandon its plans for there configuration of children’s heart services against the express wishes of the vast majority of respondents to consultation. I never forget that the purpose of our work is saving lives and improving quality of life for children, and on behalf of the NHS I want to reassure families, patients and clinicians that we remain as determined as ever to reconfigure services for children with congenital heart disease in the interests of better outcomes and a more safe and sustainable service for children and their families”.

– Sir Neil McKay CB, Chair of the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts

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