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Child heart unit's future secured

Child heart unit's future secured

Published at 8:12am 8th July 2016. (Updated at 12:11pm 8th July 2016)

Yorkshire's children's heart unit is set to stay open, following the latest NHS review.

Congenital heart disease services at Leeds General infirmary have survived the cut, which will see the total number of hospitals in the UK allowed to carry out procedures reduced from 13 to 10.

NHS England says it hopes this will be the final decision, after previous reviews led to some legal action.

Otley's MP is praising hospital staff and campaigners who fought to save services in Leeds.

Greg Mulholland said: "After so much uncertainty, it's great to hear that complex heart surgery services now have a secure future at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. I want to pay tribute to the congenital heart team in Leeds who have worked very hard to ensure that all of NHS England's standards are met, and that heart surgeries in Leeds can continue to happen as safely as possible.

"In 2009, the Leeds unit was earmarked for closure, and the seven years since have seen a great deal of uncertainty for local families and patients who have needed heart operations. That uncertainty is now finally over. Despite the plans to close down the Leeds unit, the 2014 review found services there to have been safe after all. The team there have since built on the excellent work they had already been doing, continued to act with the highest professionalism, and today's news is a real tribute to that.

"Well done also to Sharon Coyle and her team at the Leeds Children's Heart Surgery Fund, who have campaigned extremely hard for the last few years to ensure heart surgeries could continue to happen in Leeds. They should be rightly proud of today's news."

Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, added: "I welcome the news that NHS England is confirming that a full range of Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) services for children and adults should continue to be provided from Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

"For families, staff and the wider community, the news ends a long period of doubt. Many people have worked extremely hard to ensure Leeds retains this work, and I want to pay tribute to them all for their commitment and stalwart support for the campaign to keep a full range of CHD services in the city."