Kids’ heart unit review

23 july 2012.'A rally in Millennium Square and march through Leeds City Centre was held yesterday (monday) in support of the Leeds General Infirmary Children's Heart Unit.'The marchers make their way down The Headrow.
23 july 2012.'A rally in Millennium Square and march through Leeds City Centre was held yesterday (monday) in support of the Leeds General Infirmary Children's Heart Unit.'The marchers make their way down The Headrow.

THE health secretary has ordered a review of a controversial decision to close the specialist children’s heart unit in Leeds.

Families around the district have joined a campaign to save the unit at Leeds General Infirmary, fearing poorly children would be at greater risk if forced to travel further for heart surgery.

The unit, along with specialist centres in London and Leicester, was set to close under plans to carry out complex surgery in fewer units.

But health secretary Jeremy Hunt MP has ordered an independent review of the plan after an outcry by families, MPs and campaign groups.

Earlier this month, campaign group Save Our Surgery (SOS) applied for a judicial review of the decision to close the Leeds unit.

If it goes ahead, the separate review ordered by Mr Hunt, which was set to be carried out by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP), could be put on hold.

Save Our Surgery’s Sharon Cheng said: “While we are delighted that the government has finally listened to the concerns of patients, MPs and local councillors and stepped in to halt the planned closures, our fear is that the IRP will simply repeat the same flawed process as originally used.”