Glenfield Hospital heart unit campaigner welcomes court ruling
Campaigners fighting to keep children’s heart surgery at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital have today welcomed a legal victory by another paediatric cardiac surgery centre earmarked for closure.
A High Court judge has ruled that the consultation process used to decide to remove services from the children’s heart surgery unit at Leeds General Infirmary was unfair and legally flawed.
The unit at Leeds was one of three centres chosen for closure which included Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital and the Royal Brompton Hospital in London.
The proposed closures followed an NHS review of children’s heart surgery in England stating that the number of hospitals providing the service should be cut from 11 to seven.
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Eric Charlesworth, of the health watchdog the Leicester and Leicestershire local involvement network, said: “This ruling is obviously good news for us here in Leicester.
“We have always said all along that the process used to come to the decision to close children’s heart surgery unit at the Glenfield hospital was flawed.
“We feel this vindicates our position. We are not sure how it affects us directly but we will study the ruling and consider our next move.”
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt asked for an independent review into the decision by the Joint Committee of Primary Care last July to close the units.
The Independent Reconfiguration Panel has gathered more evidence and revisited Glenfield Hospital.
The recommendation of the panel will go to Mr Hunt by March 28.
The Health Secretary will then make the final decision on changes to services.