A CAMPAIGN group has launched legal proceedings against NHS officials who made the decision to close a children’s heart surgery unit amid a national shakeup of services.

It is feared the bid could slow down the implementation of a new model of children’s heart surgery, which will affect where Oxfordshire children receive treatment.

Save Our Surgery (SOS) said it has filed for permission for a judicial review against the decision made by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) to close the unit at Leeds General Infirmary.

In July it was announced that the hospital, alongside Glenfield Hospital in Leicester and the Royal Brompton in Chelsea, west London, would stop performing the specialist surgery in a move to streamline paediatric heart services.

The SOS group said it is disputing the legality of the decision. It said that children from the Yorkshire and Humber region will have to travel as far as 150 miles for treatment.