Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Statement on referral from the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JHOSC) for Yorkshire and the Humber concerning the proposed closure of the children's heart surgery unit at Leeds Children's Hospital

Chair of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Joint HOSC) for Yorkshire and the Humber, Councillor John Illingworth said:
"I am pleased to confirm that the decision of the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) to close the children's heart surgery unit in Leeds, has formally been referred to the Secretary of State for Health for review by the Joint HOSC. The Joint HOSC's second report has now been sent to the Secretary of State who is expected to refer it to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) for initial advice.

"Our primary reason for referral is that the JCPCT proposals will offer substantially worse services to children and families across Yorkshire and the Humber. The Leeds unit also provides true co-location of services to mother and baby in the same hospital (something which is not available in many units) and a seamless transition from childhood surgery to adult provision. Leeds has one of the best cardiac networks in the UK, which will be dismantled and fragmented under the JCPCT's proposals. The Joint HOSC has called into question the quality assessment relied on by the JCPCT to inform its decision-making and public consultation - after some highly-rated units received adverse reports from the Care Quality Commission.

"The unit in Leeds is now fully staffed with four surgeons, and is expected to exceed the JCPCT target of 400 procedures in the current year. This places it among the top-performing units in the UK, carrying out substantially more procedures than other units across the country.

"The Joint HOSC remains unconvinced by the adequacy of the public consultation carried out by the JCPCT and this report highlights this and other concerns in its report. I believe these issues warrant specific and more detailed consideration by the IRP.”

Additional information

The relevant reports can be found by following these links:
Scrutiny Inquiry Report: Review of Children’s Congenital Cardiac Services October 2011

Scrutiny Inquiry Report: Review of Children’s Congenital Cardiac Services (2nd report) November 2012

Scrutiny Inquiry Report: Review of Children’s Congenital Cardiac Services (2nd report) November 2012 Appendices


For media enquiries please contact:
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Tis the season to recycle

Details on changes to bin collections over the festive period are being delivered to homes across Leeds.
To accommodate the Christmas public holidays, some green and black bins will be collected a day earlier than normal and others will be picked up a day later.
A leaflet listing all the revised dates and advice on how to recycle the additional waste from gift wrapping, packaging and festive entertaining is popping through letterboxes between now and 16 December. Leaflets are being delivered directly or along with the About Leeds newspaper.
Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“The lights have been switched on and the German market is taking pride of place on Millennium Square so the countdown to Christmas is definitely on.
“Another important, if a little less glamorous, part of our seasonal preparations is to ensure that bins are emptied over the holidays and residents are aware of any changes.
“Recycling is important all year round but it’s particularly important to recycle any extra waste created by Christmas celebrations and help us maintain the city’s record recycling rates.
“I’d encourage everyone to look out for their leaflet over the next couple of weeks and note their collection day to make their festive season go smoothly.”
Usual collection days and revised collection days are:
  • Monday 24 December now Sunday 23 December
  • Tuesday 25 December now Monday 24 December
  • Wednesday 26 December now Thursday 27 December
  • Thursday 27 December now Friday 28 December
  • Friday 28 December now Saturday 29 December
  • Saturday 29 December now Sunday 30 December
  • Monday 31 December still Monday 31 December
  • Tuesday 1 January now Wednesday 2 January
  • Wednesday 2 January now Thursday 3 January
  • Thursday 3 January now Friday 4 January
  • Friday 4 January now Saturday 5 January
  • Saturday 5 January now Sunday 6 January
Collection days return to normal on Monday 7 January 2013.
Brown bin collections will stop after the last usual collection on Saturday 1 December and resume in March 2013.
The city’s nine household waste sorting sites will be open from 8am to 4pm throughout the festive period so people can recycle any extra rubbish and re-use unwanted items. The sites are only closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Real Christmas trees can be taken to the household waste sorting sites to be composted.
Charities and re-use organisations across the city can also re-use and recycle any unwanted presents or items replaced by newer versions received as gifts. Details of a range of organisations can be found at
Information about bins, recycling and clean streets can be found at
For media enquiries only please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577

Council to put in place a new advice service to address rising demand

Leeds City Council is developing a new advice service for the city.

This is in response to the huge increase in demand across Leeds for free and independent advice in the light of the ongoing welfare reforms and Government cuts.

Currently a range of advice services are delivered across the city by a number of different organisations. These include information, guidance and referral services as well as more detailed casework which can require legal expertise.

Advice is delivered from locations across the city and also in such venues as children’s centres, GP surgeries and the Council’s One-Stop Centres. The council is working with partners to look at how current investment can be used to develop a new service. This will build on the many successful and well-used elements of current advice provision, whilst introducing some new elements, including more effective use of technology, to support more residents of the city.

To make sure the new service can meet rising demand across Leeds, the council and its partners, including NHS Leeds, are currently reviewing all advice provision in the city. This involves consulting with current advice providers, such as citizens advice bureaux and local third sector organisations who deliver advice alongside other important community services. Crucially, it also involves talking with current users of advice services to better understand why they need advice and how they would prefer to access it in the future.

The findings from this consultation will be used to shape directly what the new service looks like. The main aim is to give the people of Leeds choice in how, where and when they can get sound and independent advice, whether that is related to a debt problem, a concern about housing or a query regarding a change to someone’s benefits.

Councillor Bernard Atha, Leeds City Council lead member with responsibility for resources said:

“I am concerned about the impact that welfare reform will have on vulnerable people across the city and therefore the council is determined to provide high quality and free advice to Leeds citizens when and where they need it.

“We want to hear what potential partners have to say about how we could deliver the service, and have been seeking their views to inform how we can be more effective in the future.

“We need to look at all our options for how best to deliver answers to meet the questions and continuing needs of communities and groups across a city as large and diverse as ours in the next few years. That is why we are planning to support the new service for at least three years, a real commitment in the current climate of public funding."


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450