Meeting over future of Leeds children's heart unit
The future of a specialist children's heart surgery unit in Leeds has been discussed at a public meeting.
The unit, at Leeds General Infirmary, is under threat as an NHS review of the 11 centres carrying out the work considers future provision.
The Save Our Heart Surgery Unit campaign's petition has collected thousands of signatures.
About 70 people attended the meeting at Leeds United's Elland Road football ground on Tuesday evening.
Fears have been raised that the loss of the Leeds unit, which provides treatment across Yorkshire and the Humber, will force patients to travel long distances and could cost lives.
The NHS review looked at all 11 units in England amid concerns expertise was being spread too thinly.
It has proposed four options - all of which involve stopping operations at either four or five hospitals.
The proposals have been put out for public consultation with a final decision made in the autumn.
But it could be 2013 before all the units finally stop doing surgery.
The four options are to keep units open at either:
- Leeds, Liverpool, Bristol, Birmingham plus two in London
- Newcastle, Liverpool, Leicester, Birmingham, Bristol plus two in London
- Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol, Southampton plus two in London
- Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol plus two in London