Archbishop prays for Leeds Children's Heart Unit

The Archbishop of York led a pilgrimage of "prayer and trust" to Leeds Children's Heart Unit over the weekend.

Dr John Sentamu spent time praying with staff, parents and families during his visit on Saturday.

"We must support all involved," he said.

The Archbishop has been a vocal supporter of the unit, which has been the subject of a lengthy campaign to save it from closure.

Campaigners won a victory at the High Court last month when the judge ruled that the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts' review process and decision on the unit had been unfair and legally flawed.

An independent review was set up in its wake to re-examine the provision of heart surgery at the hospital.

The Archbishop welcomed the verdict, saying it was "utterly unjustified and unethical" to close the unit "without the full facts being properly considered".

The unit serves children in Yorkshire and the Humber. Closure would mean children having to travel to Newcastle or Liverpool for operations.

Dr Sentamu said: "It is vital that the right decisions are made as this will determine how children with congenital heart disease are treated for decades to come – we cannot afford to rush and make a bodge job of this."

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