A Parliamentary meeting with Yorkshire’s MP’s takes place tomorrow to address the potential closure of several Children’s Heart Surgery Units including Leeds General Infirmary’s.
Closure plans also include units at Leicester’s Glenfield hospital and the Royal Brompton hospital in London. Although these plans were suspended last year after an independent review deemed their analysis “flawed” and “incomplete”, the uncertainty lingers on.
We interviewed Sharon Coyle, CEO, Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, based at Leeds General Infirmary. She discussed the huge detrimental impact this closure would have on children with congenital heart defects. A local parent had to perform emergency CPR on her child whilst driving her to the unit for emergency surgery. If this unit had been closed the child would have had to travel to Newcastle or Liverpool for treatment, which could have been too late.
The pressure on staff at these hospitals has been extraordinary and they should receive an answer on their long-term future early next year. Significant protests, high court action and a public consultation that received 75,000 replies, demonstrated the substantial opposition to these closures.
We will be filming tomorrow’s meeting in Parliament and will share the developments on our blog.
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