YEP Says, March 13: Decisions over heart surgery unit must stand up to scrutiny

Leeds General Infirmary

Leeds General Infirmary

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Leeds has already been the victim of a review process that was found to be unfair, NHS bosses must not be seen to be loading the dice again.

THE review conducted in the wake of last year’s suspension of operations at the Leeds children’s heart surgery unit has found that the decision was justified.

Some may say this is hardly surprising given that it is being conducted by NHS England, whose medical director Sir Bruce Keogh made the contentious call to temporarily halt surgery.

Nevertheless, the report does raise important concerns about the unit which need to be addressed.

Complaints raised by families included mums saying they felt pressurised to have terminations when their unborn babies were diagnosed with heart defects. Others said they felt abandoned at the time of their child’s death.

While it is important that these issues are tackled at the earliest opportunity, it must be borne in mind that the unit treats 10,000 children a year and the vast majority of families are pleased with the care it provides. It is a pity that their views were not included.

NHS England need to take great care to ensure that they are not seen to be loading the dice in terms of any future decision over the structure of children’s heart surgery provision nationally.

On this front, Leeds has already been the victim of a review process that was found to be unfair and NHS bosses should be wary of appearing to be laying the groundwork for another decision that does not stand up to scrutiny.

Awards reflect best of region’s dining scene

NOW in their sixth year, the Yorkshire Evening Post Oliver awards are a perfect showcase for the region’s vibrant dining scene.

Despite the recession, Leeds is still home to established restaurants that continue to thrive – as shown by the Outstanding Contribution award for Kendells Bistro.

But new venues are springing up all the time, reflecting the fresh confidence sweeping through the city. On this front, the proof in the pudding was the hat-trick of awards for Crafthouse restaurant, based in Trinity Leeds.

Well done to all the winners – and their dinners.

LETTER: Computers get in the way