Dearne MP calls for scrutiny over heart unit closure

A stethoscope.
A stethoscope.

An MP has called for the sudden suspension of children’s heart surgery at Leeds to be scrutinised and the unit re-opened as soon as possible.

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey has written to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, urging him to step in following the controversial move on March 28.

Mr Healey said: “There is a great deal of distress, suspicion and concern from families affected and local people that the suspension is politics not proper process, coming just hours after the High Court’s ruling that the Safe and Sustainable review decision – that Leeds should close – was flawed.”

He continued: “The mortality rates data which led to the closure does not seem to have been ready for release, or to be a suitable basis for such an important decision.”

The MP called for the disputed data to be scrutinised, the closure decision investigated and “everything possible done to see the children’s heart unit at Leeds re-opened as soon as possible.”

He added: “This unit is highly valued by families from Rotherham and Barnsley and, for those whose children are being treated there, having to wait longer for surgery or travel many miles away to another hospital will be very upsetting during an already difficult time.”