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16 June 2011, 06:00
As part of a national consulation the only hospital in the East Midlands that offers heart surgery to children is at risk of shutting down.
Basically a review team want to know what set of surgical centres should continue to provide children's heart operations. There are four options being suggested to the public, and some of those would mean the end of the Glenfield service.
The East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre (EMCHC), at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, is included in just one of the four options. The centre, which already serves a population of nearly 5 million, is in ‘option A’ which was rated the highest scoring option by the national safe and sustainable review team.
Giles Peek is the head of the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre. He said: “We might be in the best option, but the final decision has not been made and we now need you to join in the consultation and register to attend the public event.”
The national review team is planning a public event where you can share your views and ask them questions on Thursday 16 June at Walkers Stadium.
Giles added: “This is not just my service; it belongs to the parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles of all our patients. This is your service, let’s hold on to it.”
Adam Tansey is a familiar face at the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre after his son Albert was born with hypo plastic left heart syndrome, fondly known as having just half a heart.
Adam said: “Our experience of the centre has always been absolutely first class but this is about more than just our experience, or even the experiences of other parents, we need everyone across the region to support this centre because the sad truth is, you just don’t know when you might need it.
“I wasn’t aware of the amazing lifesaving work that goes on at the centre until Albert needed it and as much as I wouldn’t want any other parent to go through the pain and fear of their child needing heart surgery, unfortunately, others will. That is why we need a safe and sustainable service across the country and that is why my family are going to ‘hold on to our hearts’ and back the Glenfield option - option A.”
The consultation, which closes on Friday 1 July, can be found here: http://www.specialisedservices.nhs.uk/safe_sustainable/public-consultation-2011
To register for the public event on Thursday 16 June at Walkers Stadium complete the simple form here: www.eventsforce.net/safeandsustainable