High Court boosts fight to save Child Heart Unit

ROTHERHAM mums and dads helping the battle to save the region’s Child Heart Unit have been given new hope by the High Court.

Lawyers acting for the Royal Brompton Hospital in London—which is also threatened under the review—successfully argued at the High Court that the NHS consultation process had been flawed.

It is expected that the decision on which centres will close, including the unit at the Leeds General Infirmary, will now be put off until the spring.

Cassie Symms, of Clarence Street, Dinnington,  whose son Zander underwent open-heart surgery in Leeds aged just ten months, said that she was confident that the decision would help the unit.

“We’ve all been saying all along that there were inaccuracies and flaws in the process of this consultation,” she said.

The review team is consulting on four options for the future of heart units nationwide aimed at developing networks of hospitals working together.

But campaigners are concerned that just one of four options under consideration would see the Leeds unit stay open, meaning their children would have to be treated at Liverpool or Newcastle.

Campaigners have suggested a fifth option, which would safeguard the future of the unit.

Sir Neil McKay, chairman of the Joint Committee, said: “The ruling by Mr Justice Owen shows that making changes to health services is never easy.

“However, there is still strong support for change.

“The Safe and Sustainable review continues and the JCPCT will continue to meet.”