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NHS England today gave further details of the assurances that are being sought to enable Leeds Hospital to restart children’s heart surgery next week.
It stressed the Trust’s decision to pause surgery was a prudent, precautionary step.
Since then a review, which started last week, has been look in detail into: mortality outcome data and analysis; staffing; patient concerns and complaints; and concerns raised by other professionals.
This information, alongside the latest position, was formerly reviewed yesterday at a risk summit that drew together all of the key bodies involved including the Trust, NHS England, the Care Quality Commission, the NHS Trust Development Authority and Leeds City Council.
Ian Dalton, the Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer of NHS England, said: “The risk summit concluded that surgery could restart at the beginning of next week, subject to independent validation of the clinical data and an external review of clinical governance processes. We expect this work to be completed over the next few days and a conclusion reached early next week.”
He added: “I want to be absolutely clear that throughout this process the entire focus has been on the safety of children. We are working round the clock to resolve this matter as quickly as we possibly can. In the meantime we are ensuring that children can get the care they need elsewhere.”
The immediate process will involve:
- The validation of the data provided yesterday by the Trust, which will be reviewed by independent clinical experts;
- A review of clinical governance in the unit. The review team will aim to assess that the services available for paediatric cardiac surgery are of a standard consistent with other units in the country with a similar case mix. The evaluation will look in detail at current working practices, across paediatric cardiac surgery and intensive care. It will involve looking at details of the current protocols and policies within the unit and a review of any recent incidents or complaints with interviews with staff involved in the care of these children. This work will be led by independent clinicians.