THE MAN responsible for axing Yorkshire’s only children’s heart unit will meet with the region’s councillors next week.
Sir Neil McKay, chairman of the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts – which made the decision – will come face-to-face with a regional health panel on Tuesday.
He will meet the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee – which represents every local authority in the Yorkshire and Humber region – to discuss the proposed closure of the paediatric cardiology unit at Leeds General Infirmary.
It is then expected the committee will refer the decision to the Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley, for it to be reviewed by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, which will make a final recommendation.
The decision was made following a national review of children’s heart surgery was carried by the JCPCT out across the country
It means patients – including Huddersfield families – would be forced to travel to Newcastle, Birmingham or Liverpool for life-saving surgery.
The news has been met with public outcry since the decision was announced earlier this month.
Children’s Heart Surgery Fund director, Sharon Cheng, said: “We are glad that Sir Neil is taking the time to explain the reasoning behind his panel’s decision to remove surgery from Leeds.
“By reviewing the scoring outcomes of each hospital reviewed, we strongly believe that the research which influenced the decision was incorrect.
“We will continue to highlight the flaws and inaccuracies of the review until our voices are heard”.