Update from John Adler, Chief Executive

This week we have been continuing to provide information to NHS England prior to the launch of the public consultation; we are still awaiting a firm date for the start of this but are expecting this soon.

There is much excitement around our visit to No.10 Downing Street tomorrow at 11.00am. A small party consisting of Shirley Barnes, who has spearheaded the petition campaign, Jess Whitehouse and her little boy Elijah who is a patient and has had heart surgery at EMCHC, Carmel Hunt the Matron for Ward 30, and Alison Poole our Campaign Project Manager, are leaving Glenfield at the crack of dawn on Thursday morning and will be driving down to London. Once there, they will meet Liz Kendall MP and will hand over the petition at No 10. We have significant media interest in this event, so keep an eye out for coverage on local radio and news on both Wednesday and Thursday.

The media coverage will also be enhanced I am sure by the march planned for the Saturday 11 February (please see details below), and I look forward to sharing details and images from both events in my next bulletin!

Children’s Hearts Rally

The rally this Saturday will start at the corner of Granville Road and Regent Road, LE1 7PA, Leicester, marching at midday to Jubilee Square for the rally at 12:45pm. Whilst this is not a Trust event, all staff are of course able to attend if they wish and wearing uniform is permitted as long as Trust infection protection protocols are followed.

If anyone is willing to support the team organising the rally or would like posters or leaflets to promote the rally, please contact: stevescore1@gmail.com.

We are grateful to the Save Glenfield Children’s Hearts campaign for their continued efforts in support of the service. A poster advertising the event can be downloaded here: http://www.eastmidlandscongenitalheart.nhs.uk/EasysiteWeb/getresource.axd?AssetID=47818&servicetype=Attachment

Alan Birchenall’s Support

This week we received a lovely message from former Leicester City football star, Alan Birchenall who has shown his support to save our children’s heart unit. He said: “We have been supporting Glenfield Hospital for a long time and this is not the first time we have had to fight to keep their wonderful services going.

“I have now experienced first-hand how important the hospital is when I was recently treated there. The heart unit (including their Children’s Unit) at Glenfield do fantastic work and it would be a travesty if we were to lose it. It is vitally important that the facility is maintained and, if anything should be enlarged to enable more patients to benefit.” Thank you Alan!

Petition

The petition total has reached a staggering 128,356 signatures (48,796 online & 80,560 offline). The success of this petition has been down to a fantastic team of volunteers spearheaded by Shirley Barnes. We cannot begin to thank you all enough for the huge effort you have all committed!

Together Magazine 

Take a look at our latest article in February’s issue of Together which features our #Glenfieldbabies Cecilia, Declan and Henry: http://www.leicestershospitals.nhs.uk/aboutus/our-news/together-magazine/

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. Please keep an eye out for our children’s hearts spread in February’s edition of Together magazine. A link to the magazine online will be available to view as of next week. 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. Here is an example of what the case studies will look like:

In the news

Finally, below is a roundup of all the media coverage we have received over the last week:

Friday 3 February

Catch again…

BBC East Midlands Today

Funding boost for Glenfield hospital heart unit campaign Leicester (Skip to 13:10)

The campaign to save the heart unit at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital has been given a £50,000 boost. Leicestershire County Council says it’s using money from an underspend to support the campaign, if the board of the Trust which runs the hospital decides to undertake a judicial review of the decision to close the unit. Last summer, NHS England said heart surgery should stop, because the unit is unlikely to meet new standards being introduced.

BBC Radio Leicester

Generous £50,000 boost from Leicestershire County Council (Skip to 1:10:45)

Alison Poole, East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre Project Manager, spoke to Martin Ballard on his drive time show about the £50,000 donation from Leicestershire County Council towards the campaign to save the Children’s Hearts Centre at Glenfield.

Friday 3 February

Loughborough Echo

Glenfield children’s heart unit closure – protest march planned

Campaigners have issued a call to arms for people to attend a protest march in a bid to save the threatened children’s heart centre at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester. A march is taking place on Saturday, February 11 through Leicester City Centre. It will end in a rally in Jubilee Square with speakers including clinicians, patients and their families. A similar protest in October had more than 1,000 people in attendance from all over the East Midlands.

Leicester Mercury

Leicestershire council’s £50,000 cash boost for children’s heart unit campaign

The campaign to save children’s heart surgery at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital has received a cash boost. Leicestershire County Council has put £50,000 into a fighting fund for the service. The money matches that earmarked from Leicester City Council to help fund costs which may be incurred in securing the future of the children’s heart centre. It follows an announcement by NHS England that surgery for children born with heart defects should cease in the city.

Pupils join campaign to save the heart unit (hard copy available from Communications Office)

Hundreds of primary school children joined in a “day of action” to back the campaign to save the children’s heart centre at Glenfield Hospital. They took part in a range of activities, from painting and creating posters and wearing red to helping raise money for the Leicestershire-based charity Heart Link, which supports patients born with heart problems and their parents.

 Sunday 5 February

Melton Times

Melton people urged to support protest against planned heart unit closure

Melton people who want to join the fight to save the children’s heart unit at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital are being urged to take part in a march through the city. Around 130,000 have signed a petition calling for the service to be retained and for an NHS decision to close the facility to be reversed. Hundreds of people are expected to march in protest from Victoria Park to Jubilee Square on Saturday February 11, two days after a delegation is due to hand the petition in to 10 Downing Street in London.

 Wednesday 6 February

Leicester Mercury

The Birch: Loss of children’s heart unit would be ’travesty’ (Hard copy available from the Communications Team)

Leicester City legend Alan Birchenall – The Birch – has thrown his weight behind the fight to save the children’s heart centre at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital. The Birch, who was himself treated at Glenfield after suffering a heart attack last month, said: “We have been supporting Glenfield Hospital for a long time and this is not the first time we have had to fight to keep their wonderful services going.

Baby Elijah is off to Downing Street to save children’s heart unit (Hard copy available from the Communications Team)

Ten-month-old Elijah Whitehouse is travelling to 10 Downing Street in a bid to save children’s heart services at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital. The youngster was born with two holes in his heart and had life-saving surgery when he was just five months old.

Hinckley Times

Rally to protest closure threat of heart unit (Hard copy available from the Communications Team)

Supporters of the fight to retain specialist heart services at Glenfield Hospital are being urged to attend the next show of public support. Following the success of the rally last year, another is planned for Saturday February 11.

Loughborough Echo

Glenfield Hospital protest march (Hard copy available from the Communications Team)

Campaigners have issued a call to arms for people to attend a protest march in a bid to save the threatened children’s heart centre at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester. The march will assemble on Saturday February 11 from 11am at the corner of Granville Road and Regent Road in Leicester.

Best wishes,

Communications Team

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

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