Ex-heart tsar's Leeds safety fear

The government's former heart tsar has said he would not send his own daughter for treatment at Leeds General Infirmary's child cardiac unit. Low-risk operations have resumed there after surgery was suspended over concerns about the death rates.

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Child heart surgery to resume at Leeds hospital

Low-risk operations will begin again at Leeds General Infirmary today, following a review of the children's heart unit.

Surgery was suspended last month over concerns of death rates, the quality of surgery and staffing levels.

General view of the main entrance to Leeds General Infirmary Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

NHS England said an improvement in a number of areas would be required, as they continue to explore issues raised about the unit.

The first stage of the review which took place at the weekend advised that the quality of surgery and staffing were sufficient to allow a phased resumption of operations.

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'Relief' over reopening of children's heart unit

The Save our Surgery campaign group said it was relieved the unit was to reopen but had a number of concerns about the decision to close the unit after the High Court judgment.

Save our Surgery is relieved that the children's heart unit is to reopen, ending a very difficult period for all connected to the children's heart surgery service at Leeds General Infirmary.

We hope patients and their families will feel reassured that the unit has been proven to be performing at the highest standard.

Our main focus since the suspension of the service has been on ensuring surgery resumes as quickly as possible, however we do have numerous concerns about the chain of events that led to this decision.

We seek urgent reassurance from the Secretary of State for Health that actions taken were in no way related to our High Court judgment the previous day, and we call for an investigation into how unverified mortality data and 'rumblings' from parties with an interest in the outcome of the judicial review could have led to the unit being shut so dramatically.

– Save our Surgery campaign

Leeds children’s heart surgery to resume Wednesday

Children’s heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary will begin again on Wednesday, April 10.

We stated on Friday that we wished to restart surgery once our partners were as confident in our staff and services as we are.

I am delighted to say we are now reopening the unit having had the quality of our service independently verified by the Care Quality Commission, NHS England and the NHS TrustDevelopment Authority following a rapid review process which took place overthe weekend.

– Maggie Boyle, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

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NHS will decide on Leeds heart unit 'early next week'

NHS England said its review of the children's cardiac unit at Leeds General Infirmary should be completed "early next week".

Ian Dalton, the Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer of NHS England, said:

The risk summit concluded that surgery could restart at the beginning of next week, subject to independent validation of the clinical data and an external review of clinical governance processes.

Closure of Leeds children's heart unit a 'prudent step'

The NHS has defended its decision to suspend surgery at a Leeds hospital's children's cardiac unit, calling it a "prudent, precautionary step".

Leeds General Infirmary's children's cardiac unit was suspended last week Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire/Press Association Images

NHS England said the unit would be reopened pending a review of "mortality data", "concerns and complaints" and staffing.

It said the review aimed to assess whether the unit was "of a standard consistent with other units in the country".

Lib Dem MP: Leeds heart unit handling 'shambolic'

Local Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland has accused the NHS of handling the closure of Leeds General Infirmary's children's heart unit "shambolically":

I think the whole thing has been handled shambolically. One minute we've been told surgery will start, the next minute it won't and so on.

The communication from NHS England has been woeful and the handling has been deeply questionable.

I've called for an investigation by the Secretary of State for Health, who now needs to step in.

– Greg Mulholland MP
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