Supporters of the Leeds children’s heart surgery unit are “disappointed” that their suggested compromise has been rejected.
As reported in the Yorkshire Evening Post last week, campaigners suggested a year-long “pause” in the national shake-up.
Under the proposal by Leeds charity the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF), the Leeds General Infirmary service would remain operational until 2014, as would a similar service in Newcastle.
Changes in the rest of the country would go ahead now.
But the suggestion has been rejected by NHS bosses who decided to move surgery from Leeds, with Leeds and Wakefield families expected to travel to Newcastle.
A spokesman for the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts, said: “We are advised by our lawyers that the CHSF’s alternative proposal is unworkable and would disrupt the process of implementation across England.
“We continue to actively plan for the implementation of the decision across the country pending the outcome of legal challenge and referrals to the Secretary of State for Health.”
The spokesman added that medics welcomed the decision and concentrating expertise would lead to fewer children dying.
“Our decision was made after extensive public consultation and after careful consideration of all of the available evidence,” he added.
“Whilst we regret the CHSF’s stance and its attempts to disrupt the national process of implementation through legal challenge, we stand ready to defend our process and our decision with confidence.”
Campaigners are still deciding whether to pursue a legal challenge to the decision.
Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew said he was “most disappointed”.
“I had hoped that, at the very least, it would have been considered and discussed,” he said.
Sharon Cheng, director of the CHSF, said it was “unfortunate that Safe and Sustainable have barely given time to discuss this workable solution”.
“The door is open whatever their lawyers advise them. We would have hoped they would have discussed this but they have not given due consideration to the solution offered, nor have they put forward any reasons why they will not pursue it,” she said.
“Once again Yorkshire and the Humber has been ignored.”