In a radio interview on Tuesday morning Councillor John Illingworth expressed the view that the arguments over Children’s Heart Surgery in Leeds now appeared to be a high level power struggle within the heirarchy of the NHS which had little to do with the welfare of child heart patients.
He had good reason to believe that the decision to close down services in Leeds had been taken quietly by the NHS some time ago. Now the facts were slowly and painfully emerging.
Cllr. Illingworth who is Chair of the Yorkshire & Humber Health Overview and Scrutiny Board was being interviewed by Radio Leeds.
Earlier Cllr Illingworth had opined that much of the information used to decide to close Leeds, Leicester and Brompton Heart units did not stand up to even the most basic examination. For example, the proposed new arrangements left many child heart patients in the country unaccounted for, and the whole of the Yorkshire and Humber region of over 5 million people without paediatric heart surgery located within easy reach.
He felt that the abrupt ending of heart surgery for children at the Leeds General Infirmary on Thursday last week was a desperate response to the defeat which the NHS heirarchy had suffered in the courts two days earlier.
Cllr. Illingworth hoped that heart surgery would be restarted following a meeting at the LGI this morning.
In the long term he looked forward to the development of a NHS paediatric heart surgery service in all areas of the country which he did not believe the current proposals provided.