Children's heart unit battle

Newcastle's Freeman Hospital is taking on extra referrals because children's heart surgery is suspended at Leeds General Infirmary.

Live updates

Freeman 'has capacity to receive cases' from other parts of country

The chief executive of the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed the Freeman hospital does have capacity to deal with cases from other parts of the country.

Sir Leonard Fenwick said: "‘There is capacity, albeit finite, to receive cases from elsewhere in the UK as we do and always have done on a daily basis, and this does include the North of England and Yorkshire."

Advertisement

Decision on children's heart services "must be made quickly"

A medical expert from the North East says a decision must be made quickly about the future of children's heart services in this region.

Former president of The Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health Prof Sir Alan Craft said an ongoing argument could be putting young lives at risk.

Last week a High Court Judge quashed an earlier decision to close the unit in Leeds and move surgery to Newcastle.

Archbishop visits heart unit

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu visited the Leeds children's heart unit today to lead prayers with patients and staff.

It comes after surgery was suspended following claims of high death rates, something doctors there say is "inaccurate and misleading."

Staff at the Children's Heart Unit at the Freeman hospital in Newcastle are preparing to take referrals whilst an investigation takes place.

  1. Calendar

Health authority praises LGI for suspending heart surgery

Health watchdog NHS England today praised Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust for suspending children's heart surgery - while checks are made to ensure the unit is operating safely.

"The Trust has taken a highly responsible precautionary step. Some questions have been raised by the Trust's own mortality data and by other information.

It is important to understand that while this information raises questions, it does not give us answers. But it is absolutley right not to take any risks while these matters are being looked into. The priority must be the safety of children. I hope that Leeds will shortly be in a position to restart children's heart surgery secure in the knowledge that everything is okay."

– Sir Bruce Keogh, the Medical Director of NHS England

Advertisement

Pausing children's heart surgery at Leeds is a 'responsible precautionary step'

NHS England has praised Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust for pausing paediatric cardiac surgery while checks are made to ensure the unit is operating safely.

"The Trust has taken a highly responsible precautionary step. Some questions have been raised by the Trust's own mortality data and by other information. It is important to understand that while this information raises questions, it does not give us answers. But it is absolutley right not to take any risks while these matters are being looked into. The priority must be the safety of children. I hope that Leeds will shortly be in a position to restart children's heart surgery secure in the knowledge that everything is okay."

– Sir Bruce Keogh, the Medical Director of NHS England
Load more updates Back to top

Latest ITV News reports