Ann independent review into the closure of Leeds children’s heart surgery has been delayed for a second time.
The Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) had been due to report its recommendations over the national shake-up of the service to the Government by next week.
But now they have announced it will be April 30 before their advice is given to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt who will decide a way forward.
A spokesperson for the IRP said: “The Secretary of State has asked the IRP to submit its advice regarding the review into children’s congenital heart services by the 30 April.
“The IRP will publish its advice when the Secretary of State has made his decision.”
Last July, NHS bosses decided children’s heart surgery should move from Leeds General Infirmary, sparking outrage from campaigners and politicians.
A Leeds campaign group, Save Our Surgery, started legal action against the move and earlier this month learned they had won their High Court case.
Next Wednesday (March 28), the judge will decide what action should be taken – and could quash the closure decision.
Meanwhile the IRP review of the national reconfiguration was ordered by Mr Hunt. It originally was expected to report back by February, and then March.
Now a letter from Mr Hunt to IRP chairman Lord Ribeiro says: “Extending the deadline will allow the panel and others to take account of the judge’s decision on redress on March 27 and to consider what implications this may have in moving forward.” Mr Hunt is expected to take some time to consider the recommendations.
Coun John Illingworth, chair of a regional committee opposing the move, said the delay would be “helpful” to them.