Statement on referral from the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JHOSC) for Yorkshire and the Humber concerning the proposed closure of the children's heart surgery unit at Leeds Children'
Chair of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Joint HOSC) for Yorkshire and the Humber, Councillor John Illingworth said:
"I am pleased to confirm that the decision of the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) to close the children's heart surgery unit in Leeds, has formally been referred to the Secretary of State for Health for review by the Joint HOSC. The Joint HOSC's second report has now been sent to the Secretary of State who is expected to refer it to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) for initial advice.
"Our primary reason for referral is that the JCPCT proposals will offer substantially worse services to children and families across Yorkshire and the Humber. The Leeds unit also provides true co-location of services to mother and baby in the same hospital (something which is not available in many units) and a seamless transition from childhood surgery to adult provision. Leeds has one of the best cardiac networks in the UK, which will be dismantled and fragmented under the JCPCT's proposals. The Joint HOSC has called into question the quality assessment relied on by the JCPCT to inform its decision-making and public consultation - after some highly-rated units received adverse reports from the Care Quality Commission.
"The unit in Leeds is now fully staffed with four surgeons, and is expected to exceed the JCPCT target of 400 procedures in the current year. This places it among the top-performing units in the UK, carrying out substantially more procedures than other units across the country.
"The Joint HOSC remains unconvinced by the adequacy of the public consultation carried out by the JCPCT and this report highlights this and other concerns in its report. I believe these issues warrant specific and more detailed consideration by the IRP.”
The relevant reports can be found by following these links:
Scrutiny Inquiry Report: Review of Children’s Congenital Cardiac Services October 2011
Scrutiny Inquiry Report: Review of Children’s Congenital Cardiac Services (2nd report) November 2012
Scrutiny Inquiry Report: Review of Children’s Congenital Cardiac Services (2nd report) November 2012 Appendices
For media enquiries please contact:
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578