Leeds & West Yorkshire

Parents' dismay over Leeds children's heart unit closure plans

Toddler drawing with mum watching in the background
The Barkers said they would be forced to move and uproot the family home if the unit were to close

The parents of a toddler who attends a children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary said their lives would be turned "upside down" if it closes.

Robert and Chantelle Barker's two-year-old daughter Daisy was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and is due to receive major surgery.

Mr and Mrs Barker said they depend on the unit to treat their daughter's life threatening condition.

The unit's future will be decided by an NHS review on 4 July.

Mr and Mrs Barker, from Armley, Leeds, said they would be forced to move and "uproot" the family home if the unit were to close.

"It will be a big disruption to our lives. We'll probably have to look at moving closer to another heart centre. Newcastle is too far for us to travel," said Mrs Barker.

"It will turn our lives upside down."

'Very worried'

A national review into paediatric cardiac units by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) started in 2008.

It aims to streamline and move paediatric congenital cardiac surgery services (PCCS) to fewer sites across England.

The Royal Brompton Hospital in London subsequently challenged the way the consultation was carried out by the JCPCT and claimed the review had been unfair.

But on Thursday the Court of Appeal ruled that the consultation was lawful.

The decision means the review, which has been on hold for more than six months, can continue.

"It's disappointing news and I'm very worried," said Mrs Barker.

"I'm finding it hard to accept that the decision on the closure could be made sooner rather than later."

Mr Barker said: "It's disappointing but hopefully they'll make the right decision and keep Leeds open."

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