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Judicial Review Starts Today for Yorkshire's Heart Surgery

Heart - Leeds General Infirmary closure

7:04am 11th February 2013

A judicial review has started after campaigners based in Leeds appealed against a decision to reconfigure services across England.

The decision was made following the NHS Safe and Sustainable review.

11 hospitals providing children's heart surgery services, which include Leeds General Infirmary, were scored against their ability to meet new quality standards both now and in the future.

Leeds was given the second lowest score.

The NHS concluded that children living in Yorkshire should be treated at surgical units which are better able to meet standards in Birmingham, Newcastle and Liverpool.

Sir Neil McKay, Chair of the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts, said: "We listened carefully to the views of the public and of the experts in the field before making our decision, and we concluded that the strongest option for the future configuration of children's heart surgical services did not include Leeds General Infirmary.

"I do not deny the right of citizens to challenge decision-makers when it is right to do so, and I know Leeds and the county of Yorkshire well - I was once Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. I have no doubt that the Leeds General Infirmary will continue to provide high quality specialist care for children with congenital heart disease - it is only the surgical and interventional aspect of treatment that will cease.

"Royal colleges of medicine have welcomed our decision as one that will save more children's lives in the future, and we stand ready to defend our process with confidence."

Naomi Wilkinson regularly takes her 4-year-old daughter Olivia to Leeds for treatment:


This case is the second legal challenge to the Safe and Sustainable review.

In response to a case brought by the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust in 2012, the Court of Appeal found that the process of review and consultation had been "proper and appropriate".

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