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Heart unit closure ‘flies in the face of logic’
As Chairman of the City of York Council Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, I attended the meeting in London where it was announced that the Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Unit will close, and the Newcastle unit will provide services for York residents.
Colleagues from other Yorkshire councils, which together form the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Yorkshire and the Humber, also attended the meeting.
We all understand, and support, the objective of ensuring that clinical services for very sick children are provided in specialist centres where specialist surgeons and clinicians will be on duty 24/7. However, we are very dismayed that the business case document which formed the basis of the decisions made at the meeting was not available to the public beforehand, or at the meeting itself.
This document was only publicly available on the website after the decision had been reached.
There was a brief opportunity before the meeting started for comments from those of us in attendance, but without sight of the documents and reports it was clear that these comments were only noted.
Nor was any attempt made to answer the questions which had been put by the Yorkshire and Humber Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee. On behalf of the families in Yorkshire and the Humber I hope we will be able to challenge this process, which flies in the face of logical health planning.
Coun Christina Funnell, Upper Price Street, York.
• I WOULD just like to mention my disgust at this cruel Government allowing them to stop child heart surgery at three children’s hospitals.
So we’re not taking it out on children due to this so-called recession.
We spend billions on war, yet when it comes to looking after children or the elderly it doesn’t matter unless they are wealthy.
It makes me wonder how low this country will stoop.
If any child dies due to cutbacks the parents want to let it be known where the blame lies.
Robert Greaves, Alder Way, New Earswick, York.