It has been a while since my last communication and we are all now working towards the 30 November, when the NHS England Board is expected to make a decision on the recommendations from the review process.

The extension has given us time to continue our discussions with our network hospitals which are progressing well and we are already seeing an increase in referrals as a result. The service is busier than it has ever been and we have seen a great response from all of the teams associated with EMCHC to enable a record numbers of surgical cases to be performed in recent weeks, in line with what our Growth Plan requires.  

Our new Consultant Surgeon Imran Saeed joins us on the 13 November as a replacement for Mr Speggiorin. Mr Saeed is an experienced consultant from the Royal Brompton Hospital, who has been working in Saudi Arabia for the last two years and comes to us able to assume full responsibility for all aspects of the role expected.

Unfortunately, we have recently received a resignation from Mr Branko Mimic, who is currently our senior surgeon. Mr Mimic has secured a Consultant Congenital Heart Disease Surgical role at Leeds General Infirmary and leaves on the 18 December 2017. We are obviously disappointed to lose Branko but thank him for his considerable contribution and efforts with us and wish him all the best for the future.

We have already advertised for a new Lead Surgeon and based on the response to the recent application process we are expecting a strong field of applicants. Interviews for the new role will be held the week commencing the 3 December and until that time (after Mr Mimic leaves) our surgical team will be Prof Tony Corno, Mr Ikenna Omeje, and Mr Imran Saeed.

We have recently appointed two new Consultant Interventional Cardiologists and I will update you more once the appointments have been fully processed, but their experience and expertise will add significantly to the Interventional Cardiology team and we welcome them warmly.

We have only a few weeks now until we hear the outcome of the NHS England review; as always our team are showing the most fantastic resilience and commitment to the service and they have my heartfelt thanks for that.

As we are a working hospital, we want to ensure that the focus on the 30 November is with our patients and staff. I will of course issue information and reaction as soon as possible following the decision.

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