London Child Heart Unit Defies Shut Down Bid

Children in London can 'take heart' with news today that a leading hospital has won its high court battle over a consultation exercise that led to proposals to close down its children's heart surgery unit.

The Royal Brompton in Chelsea said its future would be in doubt if the closure were to proceed as suggested.

Today, a judge ruled that the consultation exercise was "unlawful and must therefore be quashed".

The legal action marks the first time that one NHS organisation has taken a case against another and comes on foot of the Royal Brompton Trust's Chief Executive, Bob Bell, leading the campaign.

Today he said: "We are delighted. This is a vindication for the patients we care for and for their families and our supporters."

Adding that he had "an element of regret" that court action had been necessary, he said: "We tried to avoid this, but we will not give up in our advocacy for being a centre of excellence."

The consultation exercise was launched by the Joint Committee of the Primary Care Trusts of England (JCPCT) as part of a national review aimed at streamlining paediatric congenital cardiac surgery services around the country.


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