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Heart unit verdict due to be announced
A decision on the future of the children's heart unit at Leeds General Infirmary was expected today – and campaigners have a lifeline if the outcome does not go their way by referring the case to Government.
The NHS is reviewing how it delivers congenital heart services to children in England and Wales, with the aim of developing a service with fewer, larger centres.
Four options have been put forward for consultation. However, only one option (option D), features the retention of the children's heart surgery unit at Leeds General Infirmary, a centre used and supported by many Bradford patients and their parents.
A consultation ended last July, with the joint committee of primary care trusts expected to make a final decision today.
Speaking at a Westminster breakfast Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said the announcement would be made during a meeting. Ministers have repeatedly said the decision is not theirs to make, stressing the independence of the committee.
But Mr Lansley said there would be scope for councils to appeal against the decision, which would delay the process by two months.