Leeds General Infirmary
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Heart surgery suspended due to 'constellation of things'

A hospital in Leeds has suspended children's heart surgery because of concerns about the number of deaths there. Leeds General Infirmary is holding an internal review, which is expected to take three weeks.

Some doctors and MPs have questioned the suspension, which comes only two days after a court ruled the unit shouldn't be closed. But the medical director of NHS England, Sir Bruce Keogh, said initial data suggested mortality rates were around "twice the national average or maybe more"

He told the Today programme: "At four pm on Wednesday I had a call from an extremely agitated senior cardiologist who had a preliminary cut of some mortality data from the central cardiac order data base, which showed two things really.

"It showed that mortality for 2011-2012 and 2010-2011 was considerably higher than any other unit in the country. And that there was clear blue water between the Leeds mortality and other units. And furthermore, that it was rising."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday 29 March 2013.

  • 29 Mar 2013