Statement from LGI: Leeds children’s heart surgery to resume on Wednesday 10 April

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is delighted to announce that we will be restarting children’s congenital cardiac surgery at Leeds General Infirmary from Wednesday 10th of April.

Chief Executive Maggie Boyle said: “We stated on Friday that we wished to restart surgery once our partners were as confident in our staff and services as we are. I am delighted to say we are now reopening the unit having had the quality of our service independently verified by the Care Quality Commission, NHS England and the NHS Trust Development Authority following a rapid review process which took place over the weekend.

“The review of our services found:

‘…no evidence of significant safety concerns in terms of governance, staffing or the management of the patient pathway for surgical care in the unit or referral to other units as required.

‘A number of very positive aspects of practice are present in the service provided by this unit.  The teamwork is strong, inter-professional working is effective, surgical staffing levels are comparable to other units.’

“A further analysis of paediatric surgical mortality data undertaken by NICOR has concluded there is not a safety problem in Leeds or in any other children’s heart surgery centre in England.

“We are aware of the upset and worry this process has caused to our patients and families as well as the dedicated staff of the unit. We can only apologise on behalf of all concerned for the worry and uncertainty they have suffered as a consequence of this process.

“Our partners and ourselves are now in a position to reassure those families coming to Leeds for treatment that our hospital is as safe as any children’s heart surgery centre in England.

“I would personally like to thank the families, our local stakeholders and most particularly our staff for their continued support and understanding during what has been an extremely difficult and worrying time.

“I would particularly like to acknowledge the work done by our staff to minimise the impact on children of the decision to pause surgery whilst recognising the strain this has placed on everyone connected with the service.

“I know that staff are keen to return to providing safe and effective care for their patients and we will work with them to ensure that the reintroduction of the service proceeds as planned.”

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