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Killing our heart unit, could kill our children.


6:10am 28th March 2011

A York councillor has attended a regional meeting on the future of Leeds General Infirmary's cardiac surgery unit which provides specialist services to York children.

A national review is underway that seeks to reduce the number of cardiac units nationwide from eleven to either six or seven.  That review puts the Leeds unit in jeopardy, which could put children in York at risk, according to a senior paediatric doctor at York Hospital.

Labour councillor Sandy Fraser attended a joint scrutiny meeting on the issue in Leeds. He says:

"Parents and families with children suffering congenital heart problems will be rightly concerned at the possibility of their nearest heart unit being moved from nearby Leeds to Newcastle."

"The time it takes to get children to the nearest unit is critically important, and this was discussed at the scrutiny meeting in Leeds.  All local authorities affected by the changes are able to jointly scrutinise how such changes would impact on public health within each locality.

"I want to assure families in York that this issue is being considered seriously and that they can contact the council's Health Scrutiny Committee as part of the process of understanding the potential impact to York of moving the nearest unit away from Leeds.

"I believe the potential loss of the Leeds unit could affect up to 100 local children and their families, which admittedly is a small number. But this is a highly specialised service which saves lives, so we must ensure York's voice is heard throughout the consultation process"

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