Child heart surgery axe suspended

The decision to close the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary sparked a wave of protest
The decision to close the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary sparked a wave of protest
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Children’s heart surgery in Leeds has won a reprieve after health secretary Jeremy Hunt suspended controversial reform plans.

Surgery was due to end at Leeds General Infirmary as part of a national review into children’s heart services, but last Wednesday Mr Hunt suspended the decision.

He has now ordered NHS England to carry out a new national review of the future of children’s heart surgery.

Mr Hunt told the House of Commons: “The outcome of the Safe and Sustainable review was based on a flawed analysis of the impact of incomplete proposals, and leaves too many questions about sustainability and implementation.”

He had asked the Independent Reconfiguration Panel to review the decision, announced last summer, which would have seen families from across the district having to travel to Newcastle or Liverpool for surgery.

Sharon Cheung, of Save Our Surgery, said: “The health secretary’s comments about the Safe and Sustainable process and outcome completely vindicated the action we took to challenge this.

“The new review process must be fully open and accountable.”