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Bad News for the Children's Heart Unit at the LGI

Heart (Picture 1)

11:25am 19th April 2012
(Updated 12:30pm 19th April 2012)

Bad news for campaigners fighting to save the children's heart unit at the LGI.

The Court of Appeal's ruled a consultation, to close a unit at the Royal Brompton Hospital in Chelsea, is lawful.

That means that site looks likely to close, setting a dangerous precedent for our ward in Yorkshire.

Kerry Singleton's from Carlton. She's a member of the Save our Surgery group.

Kerry's spoken to Minster FM's Tracy Gee:


Background to Appeal

The Royal Brompton Hospital challenged the way the consultation, which recommended the unit's closure, was carried out by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT).

The hospital's legal bid was "putting a spanner in the works", the JCPCT said.

But the hospital claimed closing the unit would be "bureaucratic vandalism".

Official statement from the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund

The CHSF has expressed its disappointment at the decision by the High Court of Appeal to accept the Joint Chairs of the Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) appeal against the Judicial Review by the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.

Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust brought the judicial review following an announcement that it would not be included in any of the options put forward by the JCPCT to the Safe and Sustainable review of children’s heart surgery provision in the UK.

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund is the charity working with parents, doctors and MPs across Yorkshire to fight the closure of the unit in Leeds.

Director, Sharon Cheng, said:

“We are of course disappointed by the decision not to uphold the appeal against the Judicial Review. We have, however, received assurances from JCPCT that it is considering configuration options other than those recommended - some of which do include Leeds after we made the case for a further ‘Option E’ to Sir Neil McKay, the JCPCT Chairman.

“Maintaining the Leeds Unit is the only way of ensuring a safe and sustainable settlement for the North of England given the issues we have previously put forward regarding patient travel assumptions and minimum operations expectations. We actively expect that JCPCT is looking at configuration options which would preserve Leeds.”

JCPCT has announced it will make its final decision at a public meeting on 4th July. Everyone involved in the fight in Leeds will await the result with anticipation.

The review, being carried out by the NHS’ Safe and Sustainable, could see facilities in Leeds closed down and moved to Newcastle, or even one unit in Liverpool remaining open to deliver services to the entire North of England. The facility currently provides services to 5.5 million people, with a population of 14 million within a two hour drive of Leeds.

Widespread support for the unit has been seen from parents, patients and stakeholders since the campaign began, including 600,000 people who signed a petition in support of the unit in Leeds City Centre.

For more information on the fight to save vital heart surgery services in Yorkshire and to find out how you can help visit www.chsf.org.uk

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