A full review is to be conducted into controversial plans to end children’s cardiac services at Leeds General Infirmary following an intervention by Yorkshire councillors.
The Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, has announced that he has accepted the judgement of the Independent Reconfiguration Panel that a full review of the proposal is warranted.
County Councillor Jim Clark, Chairman of North Yorkshire County Council’s Scrutiny of Health Committee said:
This is a tremendous step forward in our fight to save this essential service for the people of the Yorkshire and Humber region.
The closure of the LGI’s child cardiac service would be wholly unacceptable to the thousands of people across the region who need and deserve the best health service possible.
I welcome this response to our appeal to the Secretary of State for the proposal to be referred to the independent panel. It means we will now be able to present our case for retaining the service in full, and I am sure that when the Panel considers the strength of our arguments, we will succeed in retaining the children’s cardiac service in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Earlier this year, the national Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts proposed closing a number of children’s cardiac surgery centres as part of a “rationalisation”. Their proposal would mean children in Yorkshire and the Humber would have to travel to alternative centres in either Newcastle or Liverpool.
Councillor Clark added:
We are totally opposed to these proposals.
If implemented, they would result in considerable additional inconvenience and expense for people, at a time when they are already likely to be experiencing severe stress and strain.