Children's heart surgery unit at the LGI will close
12:00am 10th May 2011
(Updated 12:59pm 5th July 2012)
The fight to save the heart surgery ward at the LGI is over.
The decision on its future has been made. It will close following a government decision.
Three out of the four options considered recommended its closure.
It means families will now have to travel as fair afield as Birmingham, Liverpool or Newcastle for treatment.
Campaigners managed to get more than half a million signatures on their petition to try and stop the closure, to no avail.
Local MP promises to fight against heart unit closure
On Wednesday afternoon, the long-running independent review into the future of ten existing children heart unit sites reported back. The Review concluded that the existing unit at Leeds General Infirmary should be closed, forcing Yorkshire children and their families to travel to Newcastle or Liverpool.
Like a range of MPs from all political parties, Julian Sturdy, Member of Parliament for York Outer, is devastated by the decision and believes that the wrong outcome has been reached by the Review. Indeed, Mr Sturdy has today written to the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, to demand that this decision is challenged and reversed.
Speaking about the matter, Mr Sturdy said:
“Like the many thousands of local people who have supported the Leeds heart surgery campaign, I am dismayed by this week’s decision. The campaign to save the heart unit in Leeds has been underpinned by a number of compelling clinical and geographical factors. There is very real concern that the Review has failed to uphold the “cornerstone” clinical standards of the NHS. Indeed, I fear that the decision, and the apparent disregard for the evidence, flies in the face of the NHS constitution. As such I have today written urgently to the Secretary of State for Health, asking him to intervene. I am also part of the cross-party delegation which is seeking to meeting with Mr Lansley as soon as possible. The message to all affected children and families is that the fight must go on.”
Kerry Singleton's daughter, Sienna, has a serious heart condition. She spoke to Minster FM ahead of the announcement and tells us how she feels about the plans.
PICTURED BELOW: Sienna in hospital at LGI
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