Children’s heart surgery to end in Leeds

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CHILDREN’ heart surgery is to end at Leeds General Infirmary after a decision by NHS bosses yesterday.

The Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts met yesterday, in the culmination of an official review of children’s heart surgery services across the country and decided Leeds would no longer offer surgery.

The unit will remain open to offer diagnosis, monitoring and non-surgical treatment, but families from the area will now have to travel to Liverpool or Newcastle for surgery.

Mike Collier, chairman of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I can’t say how disappointed we are. The big question remains, who can a fully functioning unit, with the massive support of the people of Yorkshire, how on earth can you close that and move it somewhere else?

“On geography and population density alone, the case for Leeds remains as strong as ever. We will now carefully consider, with our supporters, what action to take.”

Parents who campaigned to save the unit have vowed to continue their fight.

For more local reaction see next week’s Express.