Campaigners have won their High Court challenge over the closure of the children’s heart surgery unit at Leeds General Infirmary. The Save Our Surgery (SOS) launched its challenge to the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trust’s decision to remove children’s heart surgery services from Yorkshire claiming it would put lives at risk.
Sharon Cheng of SOS said the judgement was a victory for the people who fought to keep services in Yorkshire.
“This judgment finally confirms what we have always believed - that the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts’ review process and decision to remove children’s heart surgery services from Leeds was unlawful.” she said.
“Winning this case in the High Court proves once and for all that the supposed consultation was a rubber stamping exercise conducted with an outcome in mind, with clinicians, MPs and patients fooled into feeling they had influence.
“This action was taken by parents and clinicians who simply could not stand by and watch a clear injustice being done. We are extremely pleased and relieved that the High Court has found in our favour.”
Sir Neil McKay, JCPCT chairman said he was “very disappointed by the court’s decision.
“The pressing need to reform children’s heart services is long overdue and experts have cautioned that further delay in achieving the necessary change would be a major set back in improving outcomes for children with heart disease.”
He added: “I never forget that the purpose of our work is saving lives and improving quality of life for children, and on behalf of the NHS I want to reassure families, patients and clinicians that we remain as determined as ever to reconfigure services for children with congenital heart disease in the interests of better outcomes and a more safe and sustainable service for children and their families”.