We received this afternoon a statement from Leeds Children’s Hospital which we have reproduced in full below. CHF notes that there are concerns about the treatment of patients with congenital heart disease and that the Trust is taking action. The Trust has asked us to make clear, that this action is not about adverse mortality or morbidity figures, however we have serious concerns as to what else could be serious enough to warrant the Trust to ask a surgeon to stop operating.
CHF has always respected the right of parents and public to support the unit at Leeds but has questioned whether the information provided to those supporters has been transparent and accurate. It is with concern that we learn that this member of the team of surgeons has for some time been subject to a specific restriction on his practice. We note from the CCAD website of the 376 operations reported only 60 were on adults.
We trust that everyone affected will be given a full explanation of what has been happening and that a support line will be set up for worried parents.
Statement by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
25 March 2013
Paediatric cardiac surgeon
A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said:
“A surgeon in our paediatric cardiac team has agreed not to carry out operations until we have completed an assessment of aspects of his surgical practice and teamwork.
“He has been subject to a specific restriction on his practice over a period of time and we review the position on a regular basis.
“This professional review is being carried out within the Trust. It is viewed as best practice and is part of running a safe service.”
1. Claims of excess deaths and children who have surgery in Leeds coming to more harm than if they had it in other centres are completely inaccurate. These claims have already been looked into by Safe and Sustainable and the CQC and proven to be unfounded.
2. We have asked one of our surgeons to stop operating because of concerns raised within the team relating not to his work in children’s surgery but to his adult cardiac work. We are now investigating the facts in relation to those concerns, which ARE NOT about adverse mortality or morbidity figures.
3. We have taken this action as a precaution to ensure that we can continue to be confident that the services we are offering to patients remain of the highest standard. This is the right and responsible thing to do.
Issued by the Communications Team, 0113 206 4098 [Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust].