NHS England has released a statement saying 'immediate safety concerns' at the Leeds Children's Heart Surgery Unit have been addressed.
Following completion of the first stage of the review by an independent clinical team, into paediatric heart surgery in Leeds, NHS England has been given assurances, that the immediate safety concerns raised two weeks ago have been addressed and the unit recommenced surgery on a phased basis earlier this week.
It is the duty of NHS England first and foremost to protect patients, hence we paused surgery at the unit to allow a review of the data and other concerns raised to take place. I and NHS England cannot allow undue risks when it comes to the safety of children.
NHS England originally raised concerns about Leeds General Infirmary because of preliminary data suggesting high mortality, concerns about staffing levels, whistleblowing information from clinicians, and complaints from patients.
A second stage of the review is underway in which we now need to explore some of the wider issues around how the unit operates as a whole. I hope we will soon be able to give the unit a full clean bill of health beyond this immediate reassurance of safety.
Throughout this process our sole concern has been the safety of patients this is why we paused surgery and after assurances why we allowed surgery to re-start.”
Local MPs in Leeds have called for Sir Roger Boyle to leave his role on the children's heart surgery review:
Bruce Keogh calls on Roger Boyle to step down from his role on the children's heart surgery review. Health Secretary must now respond.
Local Conservative MP for Pudsey, Horsforth & Aireborough Stuart Andrew has called comments by Sir Roger Boyle, 'outrageous' after the Department of Health's former National Director for Heart Disease said he would not allow his own daughter to be treated at Leeds General Infirmary:
Have asked for Sir Bruce Keogh to reconfirm his view that surgery in Leeds is safe. The comments by Sir Roger are totally unfair on parents and staff.
Am astounded that he [Sir Roger Boyle] continues to rely on unverified data. Outrageous.
Sharon Cheng, of Save Our Surgery (SOS), which campaigned for surgery to be resumed at Leeds, said:
Sir Roger Boyle's comments of this morning are extremely unhelpful and undermine the progress made over the last few days to begin to rebuild heart patients' families' trust and confidence in the Leeds children's heart surgery unit.
His implication that surgery should not have been resumed at Leeds contradicts everything we have heard from NHS England, the Care Quality Commission and NHS medical director, Sir Bruce Keogh, who have all stated unequivocally that the unit is safe, hence their resumption of surgery.
Sir Bruce himself went on record this week saying he would feel comfortable having his child operated on in the unit.
Let me be absolutely clear - the Leeds unit would not be operating if there were any concerns whatsoever about mortality rates or anything else.
Once again, this is an example of Sir Roger Boyle speaking out without due regard to the necessary process, the verified facts or the implications of his actions on patients and their families.
He is not an impartial party in regards to Leeds and as an adviser to the Safe and Sustainable review, we do question his motives.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has defended the re-opening of a children's heart unit after Sir Roger Boyle the Department of Health's former National Director for Heart Disease said he would not send his daughter to the unit.
On Monday we announced that we were reopening the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary.
All partners were fully in agreement that this was the correct course of action to take and surgery has now resumed.
This was publicly reconfirmed at a meeting of councillors held in Leeds on Wednesday when the deputy medical director of NHS England reaffirmed the view that all the child heart surgery units in England, including Leeds, are safe to undertake surgery.
The government's former heart tsar says he would not send his own daughter for treatment at Leeds General Infirmary's child heart surgery unit.
Speaking to the BBC, Sir Roger Boyle - the Department of Health's former National Director for Heart Disease - said "I would go somewhere else. I would go to Newcastle."
Operations resumed at the Leeds unit this week after they were suspended when NHS figures suggested it had a death rate double that of other centres.
The hospital has provides assurance about its standards of care.
But Sir Roger said it remains "just on the edge of what we call an alert".
"In other words, showing that they were at right on the edge of acceptability."
Children's heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary resumed today, less than two weeks after all operations were abruptly suspended.
Concern had been raised over figures showing a high death rate at the unit but that data was discredited.
Now children are being operated on once again, as Damon Green reports.
The CEO of the Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust has spoken out to reassure families about the children's heart surgery unit's reputation.
The unit is categorically safe and is as safe as any unit in the country."
These are the facts that are known about the traces of 'bute' found in an Asda product:
- Traces found in 340g tins of Asda Smart Price Corned Beef
- Amount of bute found is very small - around four parts per billion
- Customers urged not to eat the product and to return it for a full refund in store
- Even if people have eaten the product, the health risk is "very low"
- The product was withdrawn from shelves on March 8th after testing positive for horse DNA over 1%. It was then tested for 'bute' in line with FSA guidelines.
- Asda has withdrawn all corned beef products from its Smart Price range.
A mother from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, has said she is "absolutely thrilled" that the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary is set to reopen.
Jo Lancaster, whose six year old son Toby has undergone two operations on his heart at the unit, said she has never had any doubts about its safety.
It's such a relief that it's reopened. We were never in any doubt that Leeds was safe. I just hope it has not tarnished the reputation of the unit.
The whole team are absolutely fantastic. They all deserve a medal.
I would have that surgery in Leeds tomorrow. I would have had it there last weekend if he had needed it then
I wouldn't feel safe taking him anywhere else.