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"Save the LGI's children heart surgery unit."

Heart (Picture 1)

6:57am 23rd July 2012

Protests in Leeds against the closure of Yorkshire's only heart surgery unit for kids.

Campaigners will gather in Millennium Square this lunchtime.

It follows an announcement, that the LGI will cease operating on youngster's hearts in 2014.

Parents, patients, medical staff and MPs are encouraging people to join a demonstration march through Leeds City Centre to support their renewed fight to save life saving children’s heart surgery at the Leeds General Infirmary.

Surgery at the unit was earmarked for closure after a national review of children’s heart surgery delivery concluded last week; a decision which will leave Yorkshire, the Humber and North East Lincolnshire without a dedicated unit.

The peaceful demonstration will take place on Monday 23 July at 12 noon and will begin in Millennium Square in Leeds.

The demonstration will end with speeches from local MPs and representatives from the charity and will be a chance for supporters to hear about upcoming plans to save the Unit.

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund director, Sharon Cheng, said:

“The decision to close the Unit is an outrage. Decision makers ignored the evidence put forward to keep children’s heart surgery in Leeds and we will continue to fight to have this decision overturned.

“This demonstration will be peaceful but we are determined to make our voices heard. Future generations will be effected by this decision and as birth rates are set to soar in the next ten years we have to look to the future so logically this region should not be disadvantaged. We are encouraging everyone to come out and support us in our fight to save life saving surgery provision for the people of Yorkshire, the Humber and beyond.”

Last year more than 600,000 people signed a petition supporting the children’s heart unit at the LGI, which provides life-saving surgery to hundreds of children in Yorkshire and the Humber and beyond annually. 14.2 million people live less than two hours drive time from the Unit, including over five million people in Yorkshire and The Humber alone. The campaign has received cross party political support from MPs.

For more information on the fight to save these vital services in Yorkshire and to find out how you can help click here.

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