HEALTH Secretary Jeremy Hunt impressed many yesterday when he stood up in the House of Commons and delivered the verdict many hoped for but thought they would never see.
Mr Hunt suspended the independent review into the national reconfiguration of children’s heart surgical units and asked NHS England to reflect on the best way forward.
His comments in delivering that news reflected what many in Yorkshire, where the changes threatened the Leeds children’s heart unit with closure, had felt about the process.
Few perhaps doubt that there will eventually be some changes in the provision of children’s heart surgery nationwide.
What people need is a process which is transparent, which engages those in all aspects of the services provided by the units, and reflects a fair and equitable judgement.
Mr Hunt said that those who campaigned to prevent the closure of the Leeds unit were right.
He, too, felt that there had been a sense that the outcome was pre-determined before it started. And he said the engagement with the public was not as genuine as it should have been.
All of which will come as a relief to those campaigners who went all the way to the High Court to assert just that.
Doubtless the campaign will now start all over again to ensure that the case for keeping Leeds open and supporting its work with families across the region is put openly – and is listened to.