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."