Stuart Andrew MP joins 'Save our Surgery' campaigners to deliver half a million signatures to Number 10.
Stuart Andrew MP joined campaigners fighting to save Yorkshire and the Humber’s only children’s heart surgery unit to deliver a petition of more than 500,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street.
Along with representatives from the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, leading heart surgeons, and young heart surgery patients and their parents, Stuart Andrew MP handed over the petition, which it is hoped will compel the Government into a re-think on the controversial closure plans.
The petition – believed to be the biggest-ever regional petition – contains the names of over 500,000 people from across Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North Derbyshire who have pledged their support to keep the children’s heart surgery unit at Leeds General Infirmary open.
The unit’s future is threatened by the current NHS review of children’s heart surgery services. The NHS ‘Safe and Sustainable’ Review Panel has recommended a reduction in the number of units to create fewer, larger centres. It has put forward four options for consultation, with the LGI unit featuring in only one option.
Stuart Andrew MP said: “There are almost 14 million people within a two-hour drive of the Yorkshire unit and if the Government decided to close it families would be forced to take their children hundreds of miles for surgery.
“This campaign has had massive support not just from people across my constituency, but in every constituency in the region. This petition sends a powerful message to the Department of Health and the JCPCT that the Leeds unit simply cannot be allowed to close.”