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Heart Surgery Resumes At Leeds General Infirmary

Thursday April 11 2013


"Inaccurate" data led to heart unit's closure "Inaccurate" data led to heart unit's closure


CHILDREN'S heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary resumed on Wednesday, with low-risk patients being a priority.

Sir Bruce Keogh, Britain's most senior doctor, admitted the closure by the NHS was based on 'inaccurate' data.

Save Our Surgery (SOS) - the group fighting to keep the Leeds Children's Heart Unit open - brought the case to the High Court and won a landmark ruling, and the Hon Mrs Justice Nicola Davies quashed a further NHS decision relating to the choice of children's heart surgery units and assessment of quality within those units.

Barnsley MPs John Healey and Michael Dugher joined nationwide calls for the service to resume after operations were stopped as it was claimed that data showed a higher-than-usual death rate.

"The Leeds Children's Heart Unit is accessible to 5.5 million people in Yorkshire and the Humber," said Mr Dugher. "If it closes, more than 650 families would have to travel to other centres between 60 and 100 miles away."

"I know from talking to families in Barnsley how important the Leeds unit is."

A 'phased resumption' of children's heart surgery at the hospital started yesterday.

The change came after a review into the safety of the unit. It found that Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust's data for monitoring the outcome of surgery had been 'uniquely poor'.

"This unit is highly valued by families from Rotherham and Barnsley," said John Healey. "For those whose children are being treated there, having to wait longer for surgery or travel many miles away to another hospital would be very upsetting during an already difficult time.”

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