Jarvis Reacts to Loss of Children's Heart Unit

Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central has spoken of his disappointment in learning that the Children's Heart Surgery Unit, at Leeds General Infirmary, is to close. Dan, who has been involved in the campaign to save the unit and has met with patients' families and staff, described the decision as a “devastating blow to families across the Yorkshire region.”

Yesterday, [Wednesday 4th July] the Joint Committee for Primary Care Trusts concluded the Safe and Sustainable Review into Children's Heart Surgery Provision. They ruled that the Children's Heart Surgery Unit, at Leeds General Infirmary must close, deciding to maintain the surgical centre at Newcastle instead. This was despite a huge campaign, supported by Dan Jarvis and other regional MPs that saw 600,000 people sign a petition demanding the unit be retained.

“This is a blatant disregard for what people in the Yorkshire region have consistently said they want, throughout the consultation process,” said Mr Jarvis, “It leaves some extremely serious questions for the Government to answer and I will be supporting the CHSU in their appeal against this appalling decision.”

Several families of children in Barnsley Central who receive treatment at the CHSU, have met with Mr Jarvis in recent months. They explained how vital the unit is to them and their families. “For the committee to prioritise the centre in Newcastle, over Leeds, flies in the face of guidelines on logical health planning, which states that services should be placed according to the population base,” added Mr Jarvis. “The centre at Leeds General Infirmary serves a regional population of more than five million people, and that doesn't count those families from Lincolnshire and the north Midlands who use it. Newcastle serves less than half that amount of people. This decision is just wrong. In my opinion, the committee has failed patients in our region completely.”

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