Barton MP Martin Vickers hears from campaigners fighting to save Leeds Children's Heart Unit
Campaigners have met with Barton MP Martin Vickers over their fight to save Leeds Children's Heart Unit that treats North Lincolnshire children.
They met with Mr Vickers in the House of Commons yesterday morning and briefed him in the wake of a legal challenge against the decision to close the service.
Mr Vickers said: "We are on the very edge of the area the Leeds unit serves and the impact on families with young children is unacceptable.
"The irony is, if you had a blank piece of paper and had to put these units in a convenient location for large numbers of people, then Leeds is where you would naturally put it."
The meeting followed a hearing at the High Court in London – the latest stage in a campaign which began last year when the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) decided to concentrate paediatric cardiac surgery at fewer, larger sites to improve standards.
But it means children currently treated in Leeds, including those in North Lincolnshire, will have to travel to Newcastle or Liverpool for surgery.
Mr Vickers is convinced that from a political point of view, MPs and campaigners have "done everything we possibly can", adding: "I have spoken to Jeremy Hunt about it and he is well aware of public feeling in this area."
The Kennedy Panel, a group of experts set up to advise the JCPCT, will report in late March to the Health Secretary, who then has a month to make a decision.