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Calls for Boyle to step down from surgery review post

Local MPs in Leeds have called for Sir Roger Boyle to leave his role on the children's heart surgery review:

Leeds MP: Sir Roger Boyle's comments are 'outrageous'

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.


'Boyle speaking without regard for patients & families'

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 defends heart unit: 'Surgery in Leeds is safe'

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.

– Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust spokesperson

Former heart tsar would not send daughter to Leeds

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."

Low-risk operations resumed at Leeds General Infirmary on Wednesday. Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

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."


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.

'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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