Save Our Surgery: Now adults' heart service is under NHS review
THE NHS is reviewing services for adults with congenital heart disease.
It could mean changes are in store for local patients who travel to Leeds, but the results will not be announced until May.
The news comes as Save Our Surgery (SOS) campaigners separarely continue to fight the decision to close Leeds Children's Heart Unit, which would mean families from our area having to travel to Newcastle or Liverpool for surgery.
Fears have been expressed by Councillor Peggy Elliott (Lab, Freshney), who has been a key player in SOS, over the separate nationwide review of services for Adults with Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD).
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She said: "It is the same surgeons who operate on children and adults and it is that ability to care for people with heart problems from infancy to adulthood that won the hospital so much respect.
"We can't second-guess what is going to be decided because we simply don't know."
Other councillors also voiced concerns when the matter was discussed at a recent meeting of North East Lincolnshire Council's Health, Housing and Well-being Scrutiny Panel.
Councillor Karl Wilson (Lab, Heneage), said: "I'm worried that if the children's heart unit goes, the writing is on the wall for the adult unit.
"Our area would be massively disadvantaged if we didn't have this excellent facility at Leeds for heart patients."
Members unanimously voted to join forces with other local authorities to respond to the ACHD review.
More than ten councils in the Yorkshire and Humber region will form a committee to consider and respond when the NHS announces its proposals in full.
It is thought that the panel and other stakeholders will be consulted between May and July and a national public consultation will take place in the summer and autumn of this year.
At the scrutiny meeting, councillors also talked passionately about the current fight against the fight for children's heart services.
Ian Lindley (Lab, West Marsh) said: "Unfortunately, my glass is half empty on this one – I don't think they will change their minds but I hope I'm wrong.
"Whatever happens, I think we can at least hold out heads high and say we have done all we could do to fight it."