Children’s heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary to reopen

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Children’s heart surgery will resume at Leeds General Infirmary tomorrow.

Operations on lower-risk cases will begin in a “phased restart” nearly two weeks after it was shut down.

A review found there was no evidence of “significant safety concerns” on the unit.

But officials from NHS England are demanding further checks on services after they said the hospital’s efforts to monitor surgical results was “uniquely poor”.

Hospital bosses say they are delighted by the move as they published details of the review which found “no evidence of significant safety concerns”.

They also revealed an analysis of death rates, which had been partly used to justify the shut down two weeks ago, had found no safety problems in Leeds.

NHS England said independent experts had given assurances about the quality of surgery and staffing levels.

But a second review will be carried out in to the way patient complaints were handled, while further concerns over referrals to other hospitals would also be examined to ensure they were appropriate.

NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh said: “I hope we will soon be able to give the unit a full clean bill of health beyond this immediate reassurance of safety.”

Campaigners from Save Our Surgery, who led a successful High Court challenge to a NHS decision to axe the unit only a day before it was shut down, welcomed the move.