Tragic death of four-year-old at Leeds Children’s Heart Unit to be examined

Mylee Weetman, from Doncaster, died following treatment at a Leeds heart unit at the centre of a bitter dispute over the future of paediatric cardiac care in England.
Mylee Weetman, from Doncaster, died following treatment at a Leeds heart unit at the centre of a bitter dispute over the future of paediatric cardiac care in England.
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An inquest into the death of a four-year-old at Leeds Children’s Heart Unit in 2013, which occurred a week before the unit was shut down over safety concerns, will open on Monday.

The family of Mylee Weetman, from Doncaster, feel there were several instances where her care, before and after the operation that led to her death, fell below the standard expected of heart surgery experts.

The case is one of nine claims against the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTH) for harm sustained by child patients, and the first of two inquests into child deaths at the unit in 2013.

The inquest will take place at Wakefield Coroner’s Court and could last up two weeks.

Laurence Vick, of Michelmores Solicitors, will represent the family. He said: “We hope, for the family’s sake, that the trust answers questions with openness and candour.”

Mylee was operated on at the unit on March 15 2013 to clear a muscle build-up on the right chamber of her heart but she suffered two strokes on the operating table and irreversible brain damage as a result. She died six days later.

In 2009 NHS England earmarked Leeds Children’s Heart Unit at Leeds General Infirmary as one of three units in England to close. Supporters won a High Court battle to overturn the decision due to a “flawed” consultation in 2013 before the unit was closed for two weeks over unfounded mortality rate concerns. A year-long independent review later showed some patients received poor care but deemed the service safe in 2014.

Supporters of the unit are confident it will stay open when the findings of a national review are published later this year.

LTH said it does not comment prior to inquests.

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