Update from John Adler, Chief Executive

Please see below the next weekly instalment about our campaign to keep Children’s Hearts services at Glenfield. We hope you find this interesting.

The highlight of last week has to be the grand opening of the newly refurbished ward 30. The ward offers fantastic new facilities for us to continue to grow our service and provide the best environment for our patients and families. We welcomed about 50 patients, parents, charities, friends, staff and stakeholders to witness Liz Kendall MP and Nicky Morgan MP officially open the new facility. Both Liz and Nicky assured us of their absolute resolve to support the service now and into the future and they both thanked the staff and our amazing supporters of the service for their efforts.

We shared a rather special cake kindly donated by HeartLink and it was a welcome relief to take some time celebrate together. More pictures of the actual opening can be found here: http://www.eastmidlandscongenitalheart.nhs.uk/our-services/ward-30-childrens-cardiac-ward/

Liz Kendall was working hard for us in other ways last week. On Wednesday she led a cross party meeting of East Midlands MPs with NHS England to discuss the proposal to stop the provision of Congenital Heart surgery at Glenfield Hospital. Dr Jonathan Fielden and Prof Huon Gray attended from NHS England and raised a number of points which Liz has asked us to clarify. We shall of course provide this clarification and are extremely grateful to Liz for facilitating this essential debate.

One of the areas of concern raised by NHS England is that two of our consultant surgeons are employed on Locum contracts. Whilst there is no requirement in the standards for our consultants to be employed substantively, we held interviews this week for a second substantive consultant surgeon post for the service. We were delighted to have nine very strong applicants, and we short listed 5 candidates. Attracting such a strong field in obviously uncertain circumstances is  remarkable evidence of the reputation and quality of our service. An announcement regarding the outcome of interviews will be made next week.  

We have also had some very special supporter of our petition: Jeremy Corbyn signed the petition at a recent Labour Party event in Sleaford. 

Petition

The petition has reached a very exciting stage, we have 41,863 online signatures and an incredible 58,500 offline, so we have exceeded the 100,000 signatures we need to trigger a parliamentary debate. This is due a fantastic effort from all our supporters and a special mention must be made to thank Shirley Barnes who has led the offline petition campaign tirelessly over the last 12 weeks. We are really building momentum now both off and online, and feel we need to continue to drive both petitions, as we are sure we can get 100,000 from both. Liz Kendall is currently working with the rest of the East Midlands MPs and will present the combined petition to the Parliamentary Petitions Committee in the New Year before the public consultation starts – let’s keep this amazing effort going over the next few weeks and give her 200,000 signatures! As always please sign the petition at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/160455 , share the link widely and ask all your friends to do the same.

Case Studies

With the public consultation imminent we have been finding ways of sharing the case studies we have been compiling over the past few months.  We are planning to share a short case study like the one below  every day of the public consultation. If you would like to be involved and share your story please email communications@uhl-tr.nhs.uk, all we need is a picture and a few words. We want to feature Adult and Paediatric surgery patients, as well as ECMO and PICU patients.


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