England

Child heart surgery row doctor resigns

A senior doctor at the centre of the row over children's heart surgery has resigned.

Sir Roger Boyle's decision to step down as director of the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research comes after he raised concerns about the unit at Leeds General Infirmary.

Last week he said he would not want his daughter treated at the hospital.

Those comments led to him being taken off the review team that is overseeing changes to NHS child heart surgery.

As head of the institute it was Sir Roger's job to oversee mortality data in the health service.

'Edge of acceptability'

It was Sir Roger who raised concerns about the mortality figures at the Leeds unit that led to the suspension of surgery on 28 March, just 24 hours after local campaigners had won a court case over the proposed closure of the unit.

After an 11-day review it was decided to allow surgery to restart, a decision which was then questioned by Sir Roger.

He said Leeds still remained "on the edge of acceptability" and that he would not let his daughter be treated there.

On Monday Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Sir Roger would no longer be playing a part in the wider review into child heart surgery in England and Wales for which he was acting as an adviser.

Mr Hunt said: "He did the right thing in informing Sir Bruce (Keogh, NHS England Medical Director) about his concerns over Leeds mortality data.

"However it is the view of Sir Bruce, with which I fully concur, his comments to the media on April 11 could be seen as pre-judging any future conclusions made by that review and so it is right he plays no further role in its deliberations."

While Sir Roger's resignation has been confirmed, a spokeswoman for the institute said there would be no further comment.

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