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MP Calls For Heart Unit Investigation

Monday May 13 2013


Michael Dugher MP Michael Dugher MP


A BARNSLEY MP has called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the temporary suspension of surgery at the children's heart unit in Leeds.

Michael Dugher has written to health secretary Jeremy Hunt saying there are serious questions about the use of mortality data, which have yet to be answered.

He said there were also issues surrounding the timing of the move - one day after a High Court decision to quash the decision to close the Leeds unit permanently.

Mr Dugher said in his letter: “There remains a major concern about the use of mortality data that had not been verified. The use of the data was immediately criticised by various organisations, including, most significantly, representatives of the Central Cardiac Audit Database.

"This was the actual source of the data and they have said publicly that the Leeds unit's mortality rates are within accepted ranges.

“It took a High Court judge to expose the fact that the 'Safe and Sustainable' process was unfair and unlawful.

"This latest episode highlights the importance of bringing this whole situation to a swift conclusion. 

“Many children in Barnsley and across the region are reliant on the Leeds unit for urgent and ongoing care so what is needed now is clarity for the worried parents of very sick children that the future of the Leeds unit is safe.”

Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England, decided to suspend surgery at the hospital's child cardiac unit after he was given incomplete and unverified mortality data by Sir Roger Boyle, former director of NICOR.

But is has since been confirmed that the Leeds unit was safe all along and is safe still and re-opened.

Mr Boyle has been removed from playing any further part in the review of heart services due to the perception of bias against Leeds General Infirmary.

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