Fight goes on to overturn heart unit closure plan

Rebecca McCulloch, 21, of Edlington, has had four heart operations at the Leeds Heart unit and is upset at the decision to close it. Picture: Marie Caley D3795MC
Rebecca McCulloch, 21, of Edlington, has had four heart operations at the Leeds Heart unit and is upset at the decision to close it. Picture: Marie Caley D3795MC
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doncaster Council has put forward an urgent motion calling on the Health Secretary to reconsider the decision to close the Leeds Heart Surgery Unit.

Mayor Peter Davies and councillors agreed the motion to Andrew Lansley following the decision to close the unit with parents and their poorly children from the town now facing a 100-plus mile journey to Newcastle instead.

Rebecca McCulloch, 21, of Clarke Avenue, Edlington, has had four open heart surgeries in Leeds and says closing it will put lives at risk.

Miss McCulloch said: “Leeds is far enough to travel but making people go to Newcastle will put lives at risk.

“It will be really expensive as well for patients.

“Luckily I only have to go for appointments a few times a year now but some people need to go there every week.”

More than 600,000 people signed a petition against the changes and angry Doncaster families are now set to lobby MPs demanding a U-turn.

It is understood Leeds will continue to provide the specialist procedures until 2013 but will then only see patients for diagnosis, monitoring and non-surgical treatment.

Sir Neil McKay, chairman of the Joint Committee of the Primary Care Trusts, said the decision was “in the best interests of all children.”