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Families wait on heart operations decision

Campaigners against the closure of the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI), are waiting to see whether surgery will resume at the centre, as expected this week.

Families are watching to see whether experts will provide the endorsements needed for operations to restart, following the suspension to surgery more than a week ago.

Leeds General Infirmary Credit: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

The Leeds centre has been earmarked for permanent closure following a nationwide review of children's cardiac services in England.

On Friday it was announced that operations could be resumed early this week "subject to independent validation of the clinical data and an external review of clinical governance processes".

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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".

NHS to quiz staff before restarting Leeds heart surgery

The NHS says it will interview staff at Leeds General Infirmary about their "working practices" before rubber-stamping the reopening of the hospital's children's cardiac unit.

In a statement, NHS England said it would review the "governance of the unit" and speak to staff caring for children where "incidents or complaints" had occurred.

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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

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.

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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
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