Children’s Heart Surgery to restart at LGI

Leeds General Infirmary..3rd January 2013....Picture By Simon Hulme
Leeds General Infirmary..3rd January 2013....Picture By Simon Hulme

Childrens heart surgery is set to resume at Leeds General Infirmary after a week of uncertainity, hospital bosses have said.

The decision to “work together” to reopen the unit early next week was reached at a summit between Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, NHS England and other partners late last night (Thursday April 4).

A spokesman for the trust said the agencies will act over the weekend to “provide sufficient assurance” that the unit is safe to reopen.

He said: “Following a productive multi-agency meeting to review the decision to suspend children’s cardiac surgery at Leeds General Infirmary, agreement was reached to work together to restart surgery on the site early next week subject to independent assurance of concerns raised.”

The future of the Leeds Children’s Heart Unit was plunged into doubt last Thursday (March 28) just 24 hours after the High Court ruled it should stay open.

Surgery at the Leeds Children’s Heart unit was temporarily suspended and put under review after a number of claims regarding the number of patient deaths at the hospital and allegations that junior surgeons were left in charge.

The decision to suspend surgery came just a day after the High Court ruled the consultation over changes to children’s heart surgery in England and Wales were flawed.

MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough Andrew Jones, a long time campaigner for the unit was shocked at the decision.

He said: “We have been campaigning to keep the Leeds Children Heart Unit open for many many years now and the news of the data and the suspension of surgery is very disappointing.

“Our objective remains to have safe secure thriving children heart unit offering care for the children in our area.”

Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West took to twitter today (Friday April 5) to express his concern.

He said: “There are many unanswered questions, questions that so far NHS England have not answered. We must now have a proper investigation.”