Leading writer Kay Mellor has thrown her weight behind the campaign to keep children’s heart surgery in Leeds.
The Leeds scriptwriter and director said she felt compelled to support the under-threat Leeds General Infirmary unit.
Kay, writer of TV programmes including The Syndicate, said: “When I heard that the LGI Children’s Heart Unit was to close I thought ‘I have to get behind this’.
“The unit and its team of specialist surgeons and nurses provide lifesaving surgery and care for Yorkshire’s children.
“Its closure would affect hundreds of children and their families who rely on it for treatment and support each year.
“Without it they face the distress and strain of travelling long distances to other facilities and the prospect of having to spend more time apart from their loved ones at such a critical time.”
Her support comes a day after the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu pledged his backing to the fight.
Last summer NHS chiefs decided the LGI unit should stop carrying out children’s heart surgery as part of a national shake-up.
Instead sick youngsters from Leeds and Wakefield will be expected to travel to Newcastle.
However, the controversial decision sparked an outcry and the Government has ordered an independent review, set to report back in March.
Leeds campaign group Save Our Surgery has also launched a legal challenge, which will be heard in London next month.
Kay added: “I applaud the initiative of Save Our Surgery and am proud to support them in their mission to save this invaluable service.
“The unit and its experienced team have dedicated themselves to saving Yorkshire’s children and now it’s our turn to repay them for this dedication.”
Fundraising has been underway to help cover the costs of the judicial review.
The next major event is the Heart to Heart Valentine Benefit Ball at the National Railway Museum in York on February 9, which will include entertainment and an auction conducted by Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew.
Tickets cost £50, contact 07951 187701 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org