On 12th June the health secretary announced that the closure of the Leeds heart unit and two others in Leicester and London will be suspended after it become apparent that the initial consultation process which, began in 2008 was fundamentally flawed.
The process to improve children’s heart surgery began after a public enquiry into baby deaths following paediatric surgery.
The NHS decided to reduce the number of child heart surgery units from 10 to 7 and specialise in a smaller number of centres in order to raise standards. This decision was endorsed in the safe and sustainable review which concluded that the Leeds General Infirmary, the Glenfield Hospital in Leicester and the Royal Brompton Hospital should stop providing paediatric surgery.
However, this decision was met with huge resistance and campaigners fought relentlessly against the closure of the units.
The government subsequently undertook an independent review and the panel concluded that the decision by the Joint committee to close the above units was based on flawed analysis and incomplete proposals.
However, the future of the LGI is still uncertain since, the health secretary has asked NHS England to still consider plans to reorganising the services with the report due at the end of July.