Hospital directors in Leeds are refusing to discuss how to move children’s heart surgery out of the city.
The board of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has taken the stance not to consider any implementation of the controversial decision while challenges are under way.
National NHS bosses decided to strip Leeds General Infirmary of the service following a review designed to improve care.
But the judgment in July led to a massive outcry and moves have already started to challenge it. The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is being asked to overturn the verdict and a Leeds-based children’s heart charity is deciding whether to pursue a legal challenge.
Now the chairman of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Mike Collier, has told the organisation’s annual meeting that they won’t co-operate with any implementation plans yet.
He said: “We have made it clear as a board that we are not going to discuss implementation of that decision until due process, either appeals or a judicial review, until the processes have been completed.
“That has made us not very popular, but we are sticking to it.”
Mr Collier told the meeting at St James’s Hospital that they agreed with the principles of the review but had been left “very disappointed” by the decision.
“Where we think they got it wrong is to choose Newcastle over Leeds,” he added.
According to an implementation plan published by NHS Specialised Services, which carried out the Safe and Sustainable review, a national summit for all hospitals involved in the review is due to take place next month.
A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals said it was unlikely hospital representatives would attend.
As reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post earlier this week, campaigners are poised to launch a judicial review over the decision.
LGI-based charity the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund is due to make a final decision over whether to take legal action soon.
A referral is also due to go in to the Health Secretary soon.
NHS Specialised Services did not wish to comment.