A children's heart consultant at Leeds General Infirmary says claims that death rates at the unit are twice the national average are incorrect - and its mortality figures are comparable to other children's heart surgery centres.
Surgery has been suspended at Leeds amid claims by the medical director of NHS England that too many children are dying after operations. But a furious row has now developed about the accuracy of the death rate data. The doctor who compiled the figures, said yesterday they are a work in progress.
And now Elspeth Brown, a consultant in children's cardiology at Leeds, has told ITV Calendar that doctors at the hospital have analysed the death rates themselves since surgery was halted on Thursday and found that deaths are not increasing.
"Our figures show that looking back over three years, we've had 27 deaths out of 940 operations - those were deaths within 30 days of the operations... and there has been no particular difference year on year - and those figures compare very well with figures from the rest of the country."
NHS England and the Care Quality Commission have confirmed that Children’s Heart Surgery Services at Leeds General Infirmary are safe.
Children's heart surgery is set to resume at Leeds General Infirmary after days of uncertainty over its future.
The Children's Heart Federation says the interests of management at the LGI have been "put ahead of critically ill children".