Children’s heart surgery set to resume next week

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Children’s heart surgery is set to resume in Leeds, health bosses announced this morning (Friday).

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust met with NHS England and other partners last night and agreed to “work together” to reopen the unit early next week.

Surgery was stopped at the unit last Thursday after senior NHS bosses raised concerns over figures suggesting the unit had a death rate double that of other centres - but doctors at the Trust refuted the figures.

A joint statement following the summit said: “Following a productive multi-agency meeting to review the decision to suspend children’s cardiac surgery at Leeds General Infirmary, agreement was reached to work together to restart surgery on the site early next week subject to independent assurance of concerns raised.

“The meeting involved NHS England, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the NHS Trust Development Authority, and the Care Quality Commission.

“Over the course of the weekend all agencies will work together to provide sufficient assurance to all interested parties that this service is safe and can therefore re-open next week.”

Maggie Boyle, Chief Executive of the Trust said: “I am extremely confident that this service is safe and effective and should recommence at the earliest opportunity. I want partner organisations to be as confident in the service as I am.”

Mike Bewick, Deputy Medical Director for NHS England said “The risk summit today has been extremely useful in moving a difficult situation forward constructively. We will play our full part in supporting the safe re-opening of the service at the earliest opportunity.”

The suspension of surgery at the unit came just a day after campaigners won a High Court battle over the decision to close the unit and transfer Children’s Heart Surgery to a hospital in Newcastle.