‘Rethink heart unit move’ - MP

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A SOUTH Yorkshire MP has called for the suspension of surgery at the county’s nearest children’s heart unit to be reversed as soon as possible - and said the decision should come under greater scrutiny.

John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne, has written to the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, urging him to step in following the move last Thursday.

Mr Healey said: “There is a great deal of distress, suspicion and concern from families affected and local people that the suspension is politics, not proper process.”

The announcement to suspend children’s heart operations at Leeds General Infirmary came after campaign group Save Our Surgery won a court battle quashing plans to close the unit.

“The mortality data which led to the closure does not seem to have been ready for release, or to be a suitable basis for such an important decision,” Mr Healey added.

“This unit is highly valued by families from Rotherham and Barnsley and, for those whose children are being treated there, having to wait longer for surgery or travel many miles away will be very upsetting during an already difficult time.”