DOCTORS from across Yorkshire doctors have voiced “serious concerns” about shutting the Leeds children’s heart surgery unit.
A total of 170 medics have signed a letter saying they won’t send sick youngsters further than necessary for heart surgery.
The letter, by Leeds doctor Mark Darowski, aims to “dispel any misconceptions that there is widespread professional support for the decision” made following the Safe and Sustainable review, which said most Yorkshire patients should go to Newcastle instead.
Paediatric intensivist Dr Darowski, who last week warned children could die, told the Yorkshire Post: “We have shown that the profession in Yorkshire does not, as Safe and Sustainable claim, overwhelmingly support the conclusions of the cardiac review.
“We have also shown that we are not happy to send our patients to whichever heart centre the review recommends for them, when there are children’s hospitals that are closer.”
A Government-ordered review of the decision is being carried out by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, who were given the letter as they visited Leeds General Infirmary yesterday.
Jeremy Glyde, Safe and Sustainable programme director, said: “It’s no surprise that some clinicians in Yorkshire have expressed public support for their local services.
“They would, wouldn’t they – just as clinicians in other areas would support their local services – but we need to put the interests of children first, not the vested interests of pressure groups and individual hospitals.”
The outcome of the review will be revealed by next March and a legal case against the decision will be heard in February.