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.

Live updates

Leeds hospital 'must provide evidence' heart unit is safe

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

The Leeds hospital where children's heart surgery was suspended still needs to convince NHS bosses its cardiac unit is safe to reopen, the Guardian newspaper reported.

Leeds hospital executives today said they were "extremely confident" surgery would resume next week, but the reopening of the unit reportedly depends on the hospital providing vital data over the weekend.

The Guardian says the hospital needs to answer questions over governance and missing data on 18 operations when they meet NHS England chiefs in the coming days.

  1. Calendar

Heart campaigner: Safety assurances a 'tick box exercise'

Campaigners who have been fighting to save the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary say they believe surgery will start again next week.

The NHS bodies that have been in talks since surgery was suspended last Thursday have released a statement saying: "Agreement was reached to work together to restart surgery on the site early next week subject to independent assurance of concerns raised."

But Sharon Cheng from the campaign group Save our Surgery says she believes the "independent assurance" is a "tick box exercise."


'Key consideration is patient safety' at Leeds heart unit

A spokesperson for the Department of Health has commented on the decision to reopen the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary.

The key consideration must always be patient safety.

We support NHS England and the Trust in their decision to suspend surgery last week on the basis that there were serious concerns that needed to be investigated.

If the Trust and the regulators are content that these concerns can now be explained or addressed then we would support a joint decision to resume surgery.

– Department of Health

Staff at Leeds heart unit 'deserve a medal'

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.

– Jo Lancaster

Families 'very worried' over Leeds heart unit suspension

Anne Keatley-Clarke, chief executive of the Children's Heart Federation, has said that families affected by the suspension of the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary are "very worried".

A lot of families have not yet been contacted and there are a lot families that are very worried there about what is going to happen with their children.

We are certainly receiving calls from parents, where they are extremely worried, and indeed at the moment extremely frightened by speaking out.

They are frightened of what might happen, there have certainly been all sorts of threats and we have been advising some of those parents to share the threats with the police, that's up to them if they want to take that forward.

– Anne Keatley-Clarke, chief executive of the Children's Heart Federation

MPs react to 'great news' of Leeds heart unit

Several MPs based in the Leeds area have welcomed the news that the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary is set to reopen.


NHS 'scrabbling around' over Leeds heart unit decision

Roger Boyle, director of the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research (NICOR), has told Radio 4's Today programme that the decision to restart the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary needs to be investigated.

I find it extraordinary that the medical director of the NHS still hasn't made a proper statement, still hasn't explained his actions and the actions of NHS England and that suggests to me that they are still scrabbling around trying to justify it.

We now need an investigation so we can get to the bottom of this decision, why it was taken, and we then need to understand that.

– Roger Boyle, NICOR

'Questions need to be answered' over Leeds heart unit

Parents have reacted positively to the news that the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary is set to restart.

Jon Arnold, whose daughter Zoe underwent heart surgery at the unit in 2007, said:

There's been massive support from the parents and families for the unit, and this decision confirms what we thought about the quality of care all along.

It was difficult to understand as a parent how they could have shut the ward so swiftly on the basis of unverified data. It left parents feeling very confused about what to believe and what was best for their child.

Once the unit is reopened then a lot of the families will have a lot of questions that need to be answered about the manner in which it closed.

– Jon Arnold

MP thanks 'inspirational' Leeds heart unit supporters

Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey, Horsforth & Aireborough, has tweeted his thanks to all who support the reopening of the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary.

Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds, has also welcomed the news.

Leeds children's heart surgery to restart

Leeds General Infirmary Credit: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A children's heart unit is set to restart at Leeds General Infirmary after being suspended over patient care concerns.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS trust will work with other agencies, including NHS England, the NHS Trust Development Authority and the Care Quality Commission to provide "sufficient assurance" that the unit is ready to reopen.

In a statement, Maggie Boyle, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “I am extremely confident that this service is safe and effective and should recommence at the earliest opportunity. I want partner organisations to be as confident in the service as I am."

The children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary has remained suspended for the past week.

Load more updates Back to top

Latest ITV News reports