NEWS that the government is to order a review into the decision to close the children’s heart surgery unit at Leeds General Infirmary has been welcomed by a Barnsley MP.
Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, is delighted that the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, has asked the Independent Reconfiguration Panel to carry out a review into the decision to close the Leeds unit, as well as those at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester and the Royal Brompton in Chelsea in West London. The panel will report back in February. The review comes after Michael, and other local MPs and councillors, contacted Mr Hunt with concerns about the initial review process that led to the decision to close the unit at Leeds. Mr Dugher said: “It is good news that the Government has announced this review. It seems that Ministers are finally listening to the very serious concerns of people in Barnsley and across the region. “The review that led to the decision to close the children’s heart surgery unit in Leeds was clearly flawed and I hope this independent panel will look at all the evidence again and throw out the initial recommendations.”
He continued: “We all want better outcomes for children with congenital heart disease and the children’s heart surgery unit at Leeds General Infirmary is ideally placed to act as one of the hubs of excellence. In terms of quality of service, ease of access and the size of population, there is no question that the unit at Leeds should be retained.”