STRUCTURE: Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has issued a statement following the successful legal challenge to the national children’s heart surgery reconfiguration proposals.

A judicial review upheld a challenge by campaigners in Leeds to national Safe and Sustainable proposals, which would see Newcastle as one of the centres retaining services.

The statement said that the trust had become involved in the court proceedings to correct inaccurate and derogatory information made in statements filed on behalf of Leeds about Newcastle’s service.
“The Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital has fully supported the objectives of the review which are to ensure high quality heart surgery will be provided for all children. The decision to include Newcastle as one of the seven units in the country was reached following assessment by a panel of national experts during the most extensive consultation ever undertaken by the NHS. They recognised Newcastle’s outstanding service and reputation for innovation which is demonstrated by our world class results,” the statement said.
“We are disappointed that the implementation of the review will be further delayed by this litigation. However, we remain confident that the original decision will in due course be upheld and the Freeman Hospital will be one of the designated centres providing specialist children’s cardiac surgery, for which our performance and very high quality is recognised internationally,” it added.