High Court heart unit battle

A new legal challenge has begun over proposals to change the provision of children's heart surgery across England - including at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.


Wait to hear heart unit's fate

Campaigners fighting to keep a children's heart surgery unit in our region say they have done everything they possibly can - and are now waiting to learn its fate.

The centre, which is based at Leeds General Infirmary, is earmarked for closure - but today supporters had their final say at the High Court as they tried to reverse that decision. Chris Kiddey has been following the day's events.


Full Report: High Court heart unit battle continues

Lawyers representing the medical experts who carried out a nationwide review into the future of children's heart units, have told the High Court that their client did nothing wrong.

Last year the panel decided Newcastle's Freeman Hospital should become one of three centres of excellence, moving services away from Leeds.

However, a Leeds-based campaign group claims that the process was flawed - insisting they were not given access to vital information.

Watch the full report from Ben Erlam below.

Lawyers reject claims that decision process was "unfair"

Lawyers for the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts have rejected unfairness claims made by campaigners fighting the closure of the Leeds children's heart surgery unit.

"Save Our Surgery" claims that by not revealing the score breakdown to decide which unit should close, the process was unfair.

The group have taken their fight to the High Court this week, but lawyers for the JCPCT said there was no legal obligation to release breakdown, nor would it have been of assistance if they had.

They also argued Leeds was given sufficient feedback to make meaningful responses.

Last year the NHS decided that the Freeman hospital in Newcastle should become a centre of excellence for the North.


Second day of heart unit discussion at the High Court

The future of children's heart surgery in the North East is being discussed again today as campaigners trying to save the unit at Leeds spend a second day at the High Court calling for a judicial review.

The NHS decided last year that the Freeman hospital in Newcastle should become a centre of excellence for the North and that services should be taken away from the unit in Leeds.

High Court heart battle: What you think


@itvtynetees we need this heart unit, without it we would be be in more irricomprehemical dire straits..!!!!


@itvtynetees It's a disgrace the Freeman Hospital heart unit saved our sons life as a baby we owe them so much keep it open

Full Report: High Court heart unit battle

The long-running battle over the future of children's heart surgery was played out in a courtroom today.

Campaigners trying to save the unit in Leeds took their case to the High Court in London.

The campaigners want a judicial review into the decision to cut services there and to create a centre of excellence at the Freeman hospital in Newcastle.

Watch the full report from Kenny Toal below.

Heart unit closure up for discussion: Your tweets

We asked you what you thought about the proposals to close either Leeds or Newcastle's children's heart services.

This was what you had to say:


@itvtynetees neither heart unit should close. Simple as that. They are both vital.


@itvtynetees as someone who has grown up with the service at Newcastle, very disappointed at the proposal. It is such a vital service!


@itvtynetees It makes as much sense as closing Border to combine it with Tyne Tees! A patch that big cannot be served adequately.

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