Save Our Surgery group have launched a judicial review to legally challenge the plans to end the child heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary.
Last July, an official review concluded that Leeds General Infirmary should stop operations so that care could be concentrated at fewer, larger sites.
Instead, children will need to travel to Newcastle or Liverpool for heart surgery.
Save Our Surgery group are seeking a Judicial Review of the NHS decision saying that the consultation process behind the plan was legally flawed and unfair.
The review was carried out by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) and ruled that the children’s heart units at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital and London’s Royal Brompton, as well as Leeds General Infirmary, should all stop child heart surgery.
It is proposed that the surgery will continue at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London; Evelina Children’s Hospital, London; Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital; Birmingham Children’s Hospital; Alder Hey in Liverpool; and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Bristol or Southampton General Hospital.
Each hospital was visited by a panel of experts and scored based on performance as part of the review process.
The judicial review is based on a legal challenge on how those scores were worked out and the level of scrutiny the hospitals were subjected to.
London’s Royal Brompton lost their own application for a judicial review.
A review of the JCPCT recommendations by the Independent Review Panel (IRP) will be reported to Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, at the end of February.
Swain & Co Solicitors say that judicial reviews can be sought where there have been irregularities in decision making process of public institutions, such as the NHS.
Courts can quash decisions and ensure that the decision making process is undertaken on the correct basis.
Judicial review is part of Public Law work, of which Swain & Co. have tremendous experience.
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