Leeds to host joint scrutiny committee meeting

Representatives from 15 local authorities across the region will meet in Leeds this week (September 13) for talks on the latest proposals for a national review of services for children and adults suffering from congenital heart disease (CHD).

Previously, the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JHOSC) for Yorkshire and the Humber highlighted a number of concerns about the outcome of the original Safe and Sustainable Review of Children’s Congenital Cardiac Services in England.

The review would have seen the Children’s Heart Surgery Unit at Leeds General Infirmary closed –meaning patients would have had to travel to Newcastle, Liverpool or Birmingham for treatment.

But an examination of the proposals by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) supported many of the concerns raised by the JHOSC, and led to the Secretary of State for Health halting the Safe and Sustainable Review and ordering a new, independent review of services for children and adults.

At this week’s meeting at Leeds Civic Hall, members of the JHOSC will formally consider the IRP’s report and recommendations, which highlighted flaws in the original review process.

NHS England has been charged with taking forward a new review and Friday’s meeting will also see key figures from the organisation in attendance.

John Holden, NHS England’s Director of System Policy will outline initial thoughts on how the new review will be carried out.

JHOSC members will also consider an update on the on-going review of service quality at the Leeds Children’s Heart Surgery Unit. In June, services on the unit were controversially suspended ahead of a rapid-review of quality.

Services were subsequently re-opened, while the second phase of the review continued.

Andy Buck, Director of NHS England’s West Yorkshire area team, will provide an update on progress and any emerging findings.

Cllr John Illingworth chairs the JHOSC and wrote to representatives of NHS England requesting they attend this week.

Cllr Illingworth said: “I look forward to welcoming members of the JHOSC as well as representatives from NHS England to this week’s meeting in Leeds.

“Leeds City Council was pleased that the IRP recognised a number of flaws in the original review process, which were highlighted by the JHOSC, and that the Secretary of State for Health then opted to formally halt the Safe and Sustainable Review.

“It is vital that the new review is now carried out fairly and transparently to avoid history repeating itself and to ensure children and families in Leeds and across the region receive the best possible care.”

The Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Yorkshire and the Humber represents the 15 top-tier authorities and 5.2 million residents from across the region.

It was formed to be the statutory overview and scrutiny body for the region in relation to any proposed changes arising from the Review of Children’s Congenital Cardiac Services in England.

This week’s meeting of the JHOSC will take place at Leeds Civic Hall on September 13 at 10.30am.

For more details about the JHOSC, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/council/Pages/Joint-Health-Overview-and-Scrutiny-Committee-(Yorkshire-and-the-Humber).aspx


For further information, contact:

Stuart Robinson

Communications Officer

Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3937

Email: stuart.robinson@leeds.gov.uk