THE chairman of a Yorkshire hospital whose children’s heart surgery unit is set to close has accused an NHS boss of “dismissing” the views of 170 doctors who spoke against the move.

Health bosses announced earlier this year that the unit at Leeds General Infirmary should shut, meaning families from York and North Yorkshire would be left with much longer journeys to Newcastle. An independent review of the proposals is now being carried out.

Jeremy Glyde, programme director for Safe and Sustainable – which made the closure recommendation – said health bosses “need to put the interests of children first” rather than the “vested interests of pressure groups and individual hospitals”.

But Mike Collier, chairman of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said in a letter that he believed Mr Glyde’s comments were “quite staggering”. He said it was “cavalier” to dismiss the views of clinicians who said they had “serious concerns” about the closure plans and wanted to “dispel any misconception that there is widespread professional support for the decision”.