In our first full week back after the festive break, we were hoping to have received news about the dates and details for the public consultation. Unfortunately, despite requests, we have no further details to report.

Cllr. Christine Talbot Chairman of Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Committee has been in the news this week. She has raised concerns about how the consultation into the potential downgrading of Glenfield Hospital’s congenital heart unit is being managed.  A link to the article can be found here: Senior Lincolnshire county councillor raises concerns over Glenfield heart unit consultation. We are attending the next Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Committee meeting on the 18th January, to respond in more detail to some of the points raised from their last session in December, which was attended by Mr Will Huxter. A copy of the letter sent to Mrs Talbot on these points following the last meeting can be found here. Our thanks to Cllr. Talbot and her committee for their continuing involvement and support.

Also on the 18th January, we have been asked to present to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Heart Disease in London. The meeting will be attended by our colleagues from the Royal Brompton Hospital who are also under threat of downgrading. This is a fantastic opportunity to illustrate the impact such a decision would have on all the patients from the region and we are hopeful that it will be well attended by our Members of Parliament and peers from the East Midlands.

We met with the Deputy City Mayor, Cllr. Rory Palmer and his team on Wednesday to discuss the City Council’s support for the campaign, and the need for the momentum to be maintained whilst we await details of the consultation process. He was, as always, very supportive and we will continue to keep Rory and his fellow councillors involved.  Thank you Rory!

On Thursday evening we held one of our regular stakeholder meetings which was again well attended.  An update on the current position was shared and we learnt that the petition has now secured 119,000 signatures.  This is a remarkable achievement and a testimony to both the strength of support and the amount of sheer hard work that has gone into promoting the petition. Our thanks go to all supporters who have given up their time, in all weather, to get us to this position.

The petition closes on the 22nd January. In order to ensure we cover for any duplications across the two petitions, please do still encourage everyone to sign and share the link. Once the online petition is finished we will also close the offline version. Shirley Barnes, who has been spearheading the petition team, will travel to London with some colleagues to formally present the petition to Liz Kendall MP. We hope to obtain some great media coverage and exposure of the campaign and of course that Liz can use the size of the petition to generate a parliamentary debate.

Elsewhere on the agenda, The Save Glenfield Children’s Hearts campaign outlined details of their next rally planned for Saturday 11th February (Further details are available here) and it was agreed that all stakeholder groups from across the East Midlands region would promote the rally to their friends and colleagues.