Children’s heart unit supporters set for Leeds demonstration

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A DELEGATION of councillors from across Yorkshire is set to meet the man who headed the committee responsible for the decision to end children’s heart surgery in Leeds at a meeting to be held in the city on Tuesday.

The Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which represents every local authority in the Yorkshire and Humber region, will meet with Sir Neil McKay, chairman of the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts, to discuss the proposed closure of the Leeds General Infirmary paediatric cardiology unit.

The decision was made following a national review of children’s heart surgery delivery meaning patients across Yorkshire will now have to travel to Newcastle, Birmingham or Liverpool for treatment.

Hundreds of people are expected to attend a peaceful demonstration being held by the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund and its supporters on Monday at noon beginning in Millennium Square in Leeds.

The demonstration, which will be attended by Morley families as well as MP Ed Balls, will be addressed by speakers including Ardsley and Robin Hood councillor Lisa Mulherin, and Leeds MPs Stuart Andrew, Greg Mullholland and Rachel Reeves.

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund Director, Sharon Cheng, said: “We are glad that Sir Neil McKay is taking the time to explain the reasoning behind his panel’s decision to remove surgery from Leeds.

“By reviewing the scoring outcomes of each hospital reviewed, we strongly believe that the research which influenced the decision was incorrect.

“We will continue to highlight the flaws and inaccuracies of the review until our voices are heard.”

More details on the demonstration can be found at www.chsf.org.uk