Sheffield mums’ joy as heart unit is declared ‘safe’

Oliver Williams, aged four, is pictured with his mum Demelza Williams and sister Connie, aged 16 months. The family live in Millhouses.

Oliver Williams, aged four, is pictured with his mum Demelza Williams and sister Connie, aged 16 months. The family live in Millhouses.

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Mums in Sheffield have backed a report confirming a children’s heart unit is safe – a year after surgery was suspended amid concerns over death rates.

The year-long NHS review into Leeds General Infirmary unit – the nearest children’s heart unit to Sheffield – has concluded it ‘does not have an excessive mortality’.

But it also found 16 families received poor care, including a lack of compassion.

Demelza Williams, from Millhouses, whose four-year-old son Oliver had open heart surgery in Leeds, said she thought the level of care was ‘excellent’.

She said: “On the whole, staff were empathetic, sympathetic and professional.”

And Cassie Symms, from Dinnington, whose son Zander, three, was treated at the unit, said: “It was never ‘not safe’ to us. We always had every faith in them and their amazing staff.”

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