Under threat heart unit is given hope

Sienna Singleton, 4, with mum Kerry Singleton, Sienna is raising cash to go to Disneyworld eith Co-op Travel. (Singleton 01 MF) Picture: Michael Ford
Sienna Singleton, 4, with mum Kerry Singleton, Sienna is raising cash to go to Disneyworld eith Co-op Travel. (Singleton 01 MF) Picture: Michael Ford

SUPPORTERS of an under threat heart unit, which a Doncaster mum is leading the fight to save, have been given fresh hope after a legal ruling.

Kerry Singleton, 31, of Moorends, and fellow campaigners welcomed the news that a judge has stopped the consultation over the plans which put Leeds General Infirmary’s heart unit under threat.

The move comes after a court battle between the Royal Brompton Hospital in London and the Joint Committee of the Primary Care Trusts of England (JCPCT), which is organising the national shake-up of children’s heart surgery.

The consultation will now have to be re-run after Mr Justice Owen, sitting at the High Court in London, ruled that the exercise was “unlawful and must therefore be quashed”.

Kerry said: “It’s really good news for us we’re not out of the woods yet and there’s still a long way to go but this is a step in the right direction.

“A couple of weeks ago I was feeling a bit negative but now I’m a lot more positive and confident we’ll definitely get the outcome we want.

“It is worrying that we will have to wait longer to find out but at the end of the day we need to make sure this process is been done properly.”

Kerry’s daughter Sienna relies on the unit after doctors discovered she had valves the wrong way round, an under-developed pumping chamber and a large hole in her heart when she was six-weeks old.

Sienna, now five, had six hours of open heart surgery and a 16-hour operation and still attends the unit for regular check ups.

A final decision over the LGI’s service that was expected next month is now likely to be delayed until the spring.

Around 600,000 people have signed a petition against the unit’s closure that would see services transferred to Newcastle or Liverpool. The review means 11 children’s heart units in England will be reduced to six or seven.

Visit www.chsf.org.uk to sign the petition.