Back to Keep the Freeman Children's Heart Unit open

S&S press release following Leeds winning their legal challenge

Please see for the full statement (

What happens next?

Safe and Sustainable will continue. The NHS is determined to reconfigure services in England for children with congenital heart disease. Patients, families and NHS staff have waited too long for change. Professional associations, medical royal colleges, national charities and independent experts first called for change following the tragic circumstances of unnecessary deaths following heart surgery at Bristol nearly two decades ago.

We need to understand whether the Court will quash the JCPCT's decision in its entirety, as the Claimant seeks, or whether it will impose a less draconian remedy. We are making representations to the Court that a quashing of the decision would be unfair and unnecessary. Once we have the Court's judgment on this point we will strongly consider an appeal if we believe that this would enable us to reach a final decision on reconfiguring children's heart services in a reasonable timeframe.

There are several elements of ongoing work of planning for implementation that will continue. The Clinical Implementation Advisory Group (comprising representatives of the relevant professional associations) will continue its work to develop new quality standards for Children's Cardiology Centres and District Children's Cardiology Services, and the development of Children's Congenital Heart Networks.

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