Children's heart surgery ruling due in March

First published in News

A High Court judge hopes to rule early next month on the legality of proposed changes to children's heart surgery services, including proposals to close the heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary.

Mrs Justice Nicola Davies, sitting in London, said she would use “every endeavour to get the final judgment out by Thursday, March 7”.

The judge is being asked to declare that the consultation process which led to the changes, including proposals to close the heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary, was unfair and “procedurally flawed”.

Campaign group Save Our Surgery (SOS), which represents a large number of residents in the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire area, wants a rerun of the consultation.

The legal challenge stems from a decision last July by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) that paediatric cardiac surgery should be concentrated at fewer, larger sites to improve standards across England.

Children in the York and Leeds area will have to travel to Newcastle or Liverpool for surgery if the proposals go ahead. Nearly 600,000 people signed a petition against the Leeds closure.

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