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MPs welcome heart unit closure review
11:25am Friday 26th October 2012 in Local news
MPs have welcomed news of a review into a controversial decision to close three children’s heart surgery units, including one in Leeds.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has asked the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) to carry out a review into the decision to close the units at Leeds General Infirmary, Glenfield Hospital in Leicester and the Royal Brompton in Chelsea.
The panel will decide by February whether it believes the recommendations to close the units will streamline paediatric heart services.
Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough, said: “I welcome the announcement by the Secretary of State for Health. “Among the list of units marked for closure is Leeds General Infirmary, and I have long believed the review itself was flawed and unbalanced from the very beginning. It is vital the inaccuracies and unfair scoring system is closely examined, and that the IRP considers the process as a whole. “I know thousands of patients, families, staff and supporters of the Leeds unit will be following this issue.”
Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland (pictured) said: “It has been of great concern the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts has continued to try and force through these proposals and have them implemented, despite the very serious concerns that still exist and the need for full scrutiny into how these decisions were made.
“The failure of the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) to listen to the very serious concerns of people from across the region has been deeply worrying, and the Secretary of State has done the right thing in launching a review.
“I hope this review will see the illogical recommendations thrown out, and questions asked as to how they could possibly have come to them, considering the evidence.”
The review comes after councillors in Lincolnshire and Leicestershire contacted Mr Hunt with concerns about the closure of the unit at Glenfield.
Earlier this month, a campaign group fighting to keep the Leeds unit open launched legal proceedings against NHS officials who made the decision. Save Our Surgery (SOS) said it has filed for permission for a judicial review against the closure decision made by the JCPCT.