Leeds hospital suspends child surgery

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Children’s congenital heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary has been suspended.

The chief executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said outside experts would be drafted in to help review care.

The development follows a meeting with NHS officials and the Care Quality Commission yesterday (Thurs).

There are concerns about mortality data at the trust and affected families have been contacted.

Children who would have been treated in Leeds will be sent to other hospitals.

Leeds General Infirmary has been at the centre of a long-running row about whether children’s heart services should be moved to other units elsewhere in the country.

The announcement of the suspension of surgery comes less than 24 hours after campaigners won a High Court battle to keep surgery there.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive Maggie Boyle, said: “We have taken the decision to temporarily pause children’s congenital cardiac surgery and associated interventions while this review is conducted, a process we would aim to complete in around three weeks.

“It is really important to us that the review is done as speedily and comprehensively as possible which, of course, we hope will show the services in Leeds to be safe.”

The CQC said: “We support the trust’s decision to carry out a review of their children’s heart surgery unit and to put existing activity on hold pending the outcome of this review.”

A decision to stop children’s heart surgery at the Leeds hospital was quashed by a High Court judge on Wednesday.

Previously, an NHS review said surgery should stop at hospitals in Leeds, Leicester and London to focus care at fewer, larger sites, where medical expertise can be concentrated.