The following statement has been issued by the chair of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Yorkshire and the Humber, Councillor John Illingworth, regarding today’s meeting where events leading to the recent suspension of children’s heart surgery services at Leeds General Infirmary were discussed with Dr Mike Bewick of NHS England.

At today’s meeting both NHS England and the Care Quality Commission confirmed that Children’s Heart Surgery Services at Leeds General Infirmary are safe. “This is the confirmation that we have been waiting for and a very positive outcome. "We still need answers to a substantial number of questions relating to the Safe and Sustainable process over the past five years, but the improved openness from NHS England was encouraging and I am hopeful that we will get the answers to our questions very quickly and be able to put this whole unfortunate episode behind us. “Our prime concern throughout has been the welfare of the children concerned and limiting the anxiety of their parents and families. "We hope that the restoration of services and the outcome of the joint review being made available through NHS England and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust will bring families peace of mind and the certainty that their children are in safe hands. "We must now focus our attention on the ongoing issue of retaining these key services in Leeds for children and families across the whole of Yorkshire and the Humber.”