YEP Says, March 14: It was MPs’ duty to fight to save Leeds heart unit from axe

Greg Mulholland MP visits the children's heart unit

Greg Mulholland MP visits the children's heart unit

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Politicans would have been guilty of a dereliction of their duty to represent the interests of their constituents if they hadn’t joined campaign.

Sir Roger Boyle, the country’s former “heart tsar” has ripped into the region’s MPs for campaigning to keep the unit open when it was threatened with closure under last year’s controversial review.

He has condemned the “downright disgraceful” behaviour of local politicians, who he accuses of “vying for position to be the MP who saved the Leeds surgical programme”.

While sympathy for politicians may be in desperately short supply, this is a woefully ill-judged attack. After all, if local MPs didn’t speak up for a unit which treats 10,000 children a year from across the region it would be a dereliction of their duty to represent the interests of their constituents.

As it transpired, those who argued forcefully that the decision to close the Leeds General Infirmary unit was based on questionable evidence were proved to be right. A court agreed that the process was “unfair and procedurally flawed”.

Sir Roger, meanwhile, resigned from his job after the release of mortality data which led to the temporary suspension of surgery at LGI last year, only for it to be found to be inaccurate. As such, many will think his pronouncements on the unit are desperately lacking in credibility.

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