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Failing children’s heart unit head steps down


20 May 2013

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The chief executive of an NHS Trust at the centre of a row over death rates for children’s heart surgery is to be replaced. 

The chief executive of an NHS Trust at the centre of a row over death rates for children’s heart surgery is to be replaced. 

Maggie Boyle will leave Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) next months after changes to the management structure. 
Earlier this year operations were suspended when concerns were raised over mortality rates at the children’s heart unit. 
However a trust spokesperson could not confirm whether her departure was related to the heart surgery fears. 
'Clinically led'
Former nurse Boyle said she supports managerial change and the implementation of a “clinically led” structure. 
She said: "It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be chief executive at LTHT over the past six years. 
"I believe the move to new management arrangements which will see a clinically led, managerially supported structure being established is absolutely the right thing to do and will have enormous benefits for patient focused care delivery.
"I would like to wish the senior leaders and all of their staff all best wishes for a successful future."
The trust found itself at the centre of a public outcry when Sir Roger Boyle, the government's former heart tsar, raised fears about high mortality rates at LGI.
He presented data to NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh, who suspended surgery at the hospital's child cardiac unit for eight days while an investigation took place.
The decision – which meant 10 children had to be transferred to centres up to 120 miles away for treatment – was widely condemned. Experts claimed the information that led to the unit's closure was incomplete.
A trust spokesman said: "Arrangements to cover the chief executive post until a substantive appointment is made will be advised shortly."
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