Sheffield mum’s hope for fair review of heart unit

Sheffield's first support group for parents whose children have heart problems is being launched. The group is part of national charity Patches and will be based at Shiregreen Community Centre in Sicey Avenue. Our picture shows Amy Brocklebank, of Stannington, with her son Louis Brocklebank, aged two.
Sheffield's first support group for parents whose children have heart problems is being launched. The group is part of national charity Patches and will be based at Shiregreen Community Centre in Sicey Avenue. Our picture shows Amy Brocklebank, of Stannington, with her son Louis Brocklebank, aged two.
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A Sheffield mum has welcomed news that plans to shut a children’s heart unit have been suspended.

Amy Brocklebank’s two-year-old son Louis had two holes in his heart and underwent life-saving surgery at the Leeds unit, the only specialist service of its kind in the region.

Proposals to close the unit have been put on hold after an independent review suggested consultation was based on ‘flawed analysis’.

Another report on the organisation of heart surgery will be made in July as NHS England look into the matter.

The NHS had wanted to close Leeds as part of plans to concentrate surgery at a smaller number of specialist sites – leaving South Yorkshire families facing lengthy trips to Liverpool or Newcastle.

Amy, who is preparing to take Louis for further surgery at Sheffield Children’s Hospital tomorrow, said: “I just hope they are going to do it fairly and properly and legally this time.

“I don’t think there are enough heart units anyway, they should be opening more not closing them.

“I think they have got obsessed with the numbers and statistics and have forgotten we are families and children.”