Decision for unit

Anne-Marie Sheard fears the children's heart unit in Leeds where her four-year-old son Isaac is treated may close.

Anne-Marie Sheard fears the children's heart unit in Leeds where her four-year-old son Isaac is treated may close.

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ANXIOUS families await a decision on the future of an under-threat children’s heart unit which provides life-saving treatment to youngsters across the Five Towns.

The Joint Chairs of the Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) has announced it will make its final decision on whether the children’s heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) will close on July 4.

The outcome – expected in less than eight weeks – is part of a national reorganisation of hospital services which could see patients in West Yorkshire forced to travel 100 miles to Newcastle for treatment.

Ackworth mum Anne-Marie Sheard, whose four-year-old-son Isaac is on the waiting list for life-saving heart surgery, said she was disappointed an appeal made by a London hospital questioning the management of a public consultation into the hospital closures was unsuccessful.

Mrs Sheard, 40, said: “It’s really disappointing to find out they didn’t uphold the appeal. It’s a really stressful time at the moment because there’s nothing we can do. It’s just waiting and worrying now.”

Mrs Sheard, of Moor Top Avenue, said if LGI’s unit closes she will continue Isaac’s treatment for atrioventricular septal defect (ASVD) at Great Ormond Street in London.

The mum-of-five – who is expecting her sixth child in October – said she felt her son, who had to undergo major heart surgery at just one-week-old, will continue to be treated at Leeds until then.

She added: “We feel secure that he will get the best care at Great Ormond Street, there are more experienced surgeons there and the units there are more adequate for families.

“But until we get a decision, his care is at Leeds. The service they provide is outstanding. But July 4 is D-Day and it’s hard to keep focused. It’s the ultimate decision.”