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Heart Unit Decision Referred To Government

Friday August 17 2012



A DECISION to change a popular children's heart service in Leeds has been referred to the government for reconsideration after a Barnsley Council meeting.

Councillors on the Family Wellbeing Scrutiny Commission met this week to discuss the changes - which will mean Barnsley patients will have to travel further afield for heart surgery.

A spokesman said: "We decided to refer the decision to close the Leeds Children’s Heart Unit to the Secretary of State with the request that he should consider whether it is in the best interests of the health care needs of the Yorkshire the borough of Barnsley.

"The decision was reached after hearing evidence of the widespread clinical concern amongst senior clinicians in the region about the potential impacts of the closure on the region and on the borough."

But charity the Children’s Heart Federation said they support the changes as they will lead to excellent care for all children.

It said the change will not be about closure - merely about a change in location for surgery. 

There will be seven specialist surgical centres across England, with four surgeons based at each.

Samantha Johnson, family services manager for CHF, said: "For some parents who may have to travel somewhat further for their child’s surgery, it is important to stress that many families from across the country already travel for surgery. This is done safely and effectively and travel times were considered during the changes. It is also important to highlight that only around half of children with heart conditions will ever require surgery and of those who do around 90 percent only one operation.

"It is really important that parents and the public understand that no hospital or unit is closing. Whilst surgery is stopping at three units, including Leeds, cardiology services will continue to be offered."

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Reply Posted by claire wilson on Sunday August 19 2012 at 11:17
our family must be one of the 10% as my daughter needs 2 more opps and has had 3 opps. she also needs to have her pace maker changed every 3 to 5 years. leeds to close is not good for us. when we do have to travel further we will have to take our other children with us. can i ask a big question? does any of you have a child with a heart problem that requires surgery?