A fresh investigation has been launched into care at Leeds children’s heart surgery unit after claims that mothers have been put under undue pressure to abort babies with ‘untreatable’ heart defects rather than refer them to a rival centre.
The article in the Sunday Times goes on to say that healthcare investigators are also looking into claims that doctors treating children at the unit based at Leeds General Infirmary are ‘leaving them to die’ by placing them in palliative care.
In some cases this may be because they have been wrongly diagnosed. In others, it is suggested it is because doctors are reluctant to carry out risky operations or refer children to other hospitals.
The claims are being considered by the Care Quality Commission, but it has yet to decide whether to conduct a formal enquiry.
The article goes on to say that a spokesperson for Leeds pointed out that the CQC had already looked into claims in 2011 but had found no evidence of poor care.
The unit is now obviously at the forefront of the news having been recently closed due to concerns raised over death rate data and other issues.
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