Call for views on child heart surgery unit

Leeds General Infirmary.
Leeds General Infirmary.

Supporters of the Yorkshire heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary are being urged to make their voices heard at a series of events taking place across the region over the course of this month.

They are aimed at ensuring surgery for babies, children and adults with congenital heart problems stays in the city.

Surgery at Leeds was temporarily suspended last year over safety concerns. A swiftly-conducted review concluded that surgery was safe to resume a few weeks later and a second phase of the review was started.

These events have been organised by the regional charity Children’s Heart Surgery Fund to provide everyone with the opportunity to help shape the future of congenital heart surgery in the region.

NHS England, which is leading the review, has drawn up a set of new standards which will dictate how congenital heart surgery is provided across England, including Leeds Children’s Heart Unit, which saw 10,000 youngsters pass through its doors last year.

The standards describe how services should be organised and provided to achieve the highest quality for patients throughout their lives.

Sharon Cheng, CEO of Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, said: “We welcome NHS England’s new review and encourage as many people as possible from across the region to attend these events and feedback their views.

“It’s vital that those who have supported our service and fought hard to keep it open understand what NHS England is proposing, how these new standards will affect them and what they could mean for services in the future.”

An event is taking place at the Kaberry Lecture Theatre, B Floor, Old Site, Leeds General Infirmary on Sunday November 16, 11am-1pm.

Another of the events is being held at the Midland Hotel in Forster Square, Cheapside, Bradford on Saturday November 29.