I will defy NHS plans on heart ops, says South Yorkshire mum

Heart patient: Kerry Singleton, with daughter Sienna, who will be taken to Birmingham instead of Newcastle when NHS changes come into force.
Heart patient: Kerry Singleton, with daughter Sienna, who will be taken to Birmingham instead of Newcastle when NHS changes come into force.
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A SOUTH Yorkshire mum says she will defy the NHS over its plans to send her daughter to Newcastle for heart surgery.

Kerry Singleton, of Moorends, Doncaster, was in London with officials from Leeds General Infirmary as it was announced the hospital’s child heart surgery unit would close.

Under the reorganisation, patients from Doncaster will be sent to Newcastle for treatment.

Kerry’s six-year-old daughter Sienna nearly died at just six weeks as her heart defects had gone undetected.

But she was saved by surgeons at Leeds and has since undergone two major operations and faces a lifetime of regular surgery.

She was born with transposition - where a valve is the wrong way round - as well as several holes in her heart and one, rather than two, pumping chambers.

Kerry said: “I’m told Doncaster patients will go to Newcastle. Well, we can get to Birmingham faster, and that is where I will be taking Sienna.

“The problem with what they have done is that I worry Birmingham may not be able to cope with the number of people who want to want to go there, but under patient choice rules, we can choose to go there.

“Meanwhile, I suspect Newcastle won’t be able to get the 400 operations it is supposed to under the new plans.

“I would take my daughter to America to be cured if I could, but there are options closer to home, where I don’t have to travel as far. I won’t go to the second closest, I will go to the closest.

“To get to Newcastle you take the A1, and that is often closed, whereas Birmingham is more accessible.”

Sienna’s most recent surgery at Leeds was last month.

For some of her future operations she could be in hospital three weeks, meaning Kerry would be away from her other two children Callum, 10, and Kye, eight.

Kerry has asked Ed Miliband for his support.