BREAKING NEWS: Heart surgery campaigners win High Court battle

Breaking news.
Breaking news.

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to retain children’s heart surgery services at Leeds General Infirmary are celebrating this morning after a judge ruled that the decision to close the unit was “unlawful”.

The Save Our Surgery (SOS) campaign has won its High Court challenge to the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trust’s (JCPCT) decision to remove children’s heart surgery services from Leeds.

The initial decision to axe the children’s cardiac unit, announced last July, was met with outcry by families across the region who were facing lenghty journeys to Newcastle to access the same services.

But this morning’s ruling found that the JCPCT’s process and decision were unlawful.

Sharon Cheng, of SOS said: “This judgement finally confirms what we have always believed: that the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts’ review process and decision to remove children’s heart surgery services from Leeds was unlawful. Winning this case in the High Court proves once and for all that the supposed consultation was a rubber stamping exercise conducted with an outcome in mind, with clinicians, MPs and patients fooled into feeling they had an influence.”

A further hearing will take place in three weeks time when the Court will decide on the remedy following this decision.

•For the full story and further reaction to today’s decision see next Thursday’s Free Press.