Heart unit campaign continues

Sharon Cheng, director of Leeds Save Our Services
Sharon Cheng, director of Leeds Save Our Services

Campaigners fighting to keep the Leeds children’s heart surgery unit open have had their case heard at the High Court in London.

Last summer, bosses at the NHS body the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) decided there should be less units nationally - and chose Newcastle to remain open over Leeds. The legal challenge, brought by Leeds Save Our Surgery (SOS) criticised the review processs which led to the decision. The court heard decision-makers were given the overall scores for each heart unit - but not the subscores on specific criteria.

The legal team for JCPCT said it would have been dangerous to look at subscores and each each hospital was judged consistently on the evidence submitted, adding Newcastle had a ‘key edge’ because it has a transplant service - which Leeds does not.

The judge is excpected ot make a decision in March.

After the hearing, Sharon Cheng of SOS, said: “This has underlined what we’ve always believed: that the supposed consultation was conducted with one outcome in mind: keeping the Newcastle children’s surgery unit open in order to protect a transplant service.”

** SOS campaigners have urged the Calderdale community and businesses to help them raise funds for their costly court case.

As they continue the high-profile campaign to keep children’s heart surgery in Yorkshire, a family curry and quiz night at Bradfod Bulls’ stadion on March 7. Tickets are £15 adults, £8 for under 12s via 0113 3925742.

Any business which want to get involved can contact Matt Cassell on 0113 3925907.