An appeal against court ruling on the configuration of children’s heart surgery

On 1 April 2013, NHS England inherited responsibility for the Safe and Sustainable Review from the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts.

The review, launched in 2008, was set up to transform children’s heart services to provide better care to patients and improve outcomes.

There is broad consensus – among both clinicians and patient groups – that the NHS needs to concentrate the care of children needing these services into fewer, larger specialist centres as an integral part of children’s heart networks.

NHS England believes that we must deliver this change as quickly as possible on behalf of children and their families.  We now have an opportunity to take stock and assess the best way of achieving our objective in the fastest possible time.

To do this, we need to take account of all the available information, including the recent High Court ruling of 27 March, and the report on these issues that is due to be published by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

We have been advised that there are good grounds for appeal and these points are set out in an application that has been submitted to the Court of Appeal.



  1. Susan Jackson says:

    As a parent of a CHD child myself I know how emotive this whole Safe & Sustainable review is.. but it is necessary, the quicker its allowed to run its course the better…. we are talking childrens lives here, eminent doctors surgeons have been telling us for years that this service doesnt work properly, I m sure you will all agree with this, LGI is not capable of doing the more delicate ops, transplants, echmo, berlin heart etc… they will still have a childrens heart unit.. that will remain no matter how the PR try to spin it, My husband and I used to travel 300 miles to Harefield when our son was needing his transplant.. and I would have went even further to find someone to help…. so please lets make childrens surgery Safe & Sustainable….

  2. Mary E Hoult says:

    I would like to reflect yet again that the people of Leeds were promised a state of the ark New build children’s hospital during 2003/6 by the now Chair of Safe & Sustainable Sir Neil McKay I have all the notes for that period.,it should also be considered that Sir Neil was the Chief operating office of the DOH during the Bristol enquiry and knew the score before making these promises to the people/children from Leeds.It seem s to us that the promises and money moved with Sir Neil when he left LEEDS and we feel very let down.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Comment log: duplicate comment

    The following website makes for interesting reading
    This information has been collated and submitted by all paediatric centres nationwide therefore it means that this is THEIR data with seemingly full transparency of outcomes pertaining to all surgeries performed. This is very emotive for all centres but what is getting lost is the safety of surgery and care of cardiac children and more about a ‘patch’ war. You have to ask yourself the question, if a member of your family needed life saving surgery, if handed the above statistics I can bet my life that you would want THE BEST surgeon with THE BEST outcomes and you would be packing a bag in your head before the concversation was over because I know, as a mum, the most precious thing in my life is my child and not location. I am sure, as parents and family members we have all thought or said out loud how we would travel to the ends of the earth to help or save our kids/family.

  4. Anonymous says:

    You may find the following website interesting reading
    The data is there in black and white and and it has been submitted by all relevant centres therefore it is what THEY are admitting to. Yes, this is emotive for all families concerned but it has become a ‘patch’ war and not about what is safe for children with cardiac abnormalities. If you were told that a member of your family had the chance of the BEST treatment with the most skilled surgeons and the outcome of that procedure was better in that particular hospital I can bet my life you would say…tell us where we need to go and I also bet you would travel however many miles away to save the life of the most precious thing in yours….your kids because I know, as a mum, my bag would be packed.

  5. Debbie says:

    My son was born with a heart defect, and at a month old he had open heart surgery to mend it. I really dont know what we would of done without watterson and the team on ward 10 at the time, Hes now due another open heart operation at 15. And i know that its the LGI team that i want doing it again and the same in 8 years time when he will need another one. As a tax payer and a parent i am fully behind leeds one hundred percent and always will be . This a wonderful hospital and some of if not the best staff in the world. These people work damn hard at their jobs every single working day , and for what some pen pushing sit behind your desk person to try and come up with a load of rubbish to try and keep trying to close them down. I think its about time you went down to the ward and asked the parents who know.Because i like many many others including staff are fed up to the back teeth of all this. Why dont you leave us alone and find something else to do and stop using up TAX PAYERS MONEY whis=ch can be spent on saving people not killing them.

  6. Sue says:

    The results from childrens heart surgery services across the whole country are excellent. This is evident from the number of children with all sorts of different conditions who are now classed as adults. The numbers of those adults living in regions served by the Leeds unit have increased in line with other regions. This goes to show that there is absolutely no difference between the Leeds unit and other units around the country.

    The review was supposed to be about how we build on the excellent services the children currently have and make them even better. This is not what happened. Instead of patient care NHS bosses have concentrated on stats and set centre against centre. The vested interests of certain individuals have been put before patient care.

    You mention equality but when making the decision on which centres to cease surgery those who made the decision clearly said that equality did not matter. The decision reached made it a postcode lottery as to what quality of patient care the children received and what services would be available.

    The review failed in its purpose as it did not consider all children with all conditions fairly in accordance with your very own statements on equality. One of the areas in which the review failed was childrens EP which are all specialized services in your very own NHS documentation. Yet according to your figures used for the purpose of the childrens heart surgery review England still does not have one child who has any sort of pacemaker device.

    You should withdraw your appeal immediately and instead concentrate on what should have been done but was not.

  7. John says:

    LGI cardiac team perform the basic of ops and not the complicated and this amongst there lack of care empathy of parents with patients are some very strong reason to close them. I know we experienced this sad case at Leeds with our baby girl. Told they could do nothing and prepare for this or consider termination. Another hospital we went to with out being referred gave us the care you expect and empathy but the love was out of this world. Our girl is now 6 weeks 3 days and has a better chance because of this hospital

  8. Deryck Thorp says:

    So trying to discredit the service in LGI didn’t work so you’re trying something else whilst trotting out the same arguments. The NHS management really does sicken me.