Now the General Election has finished we are able to return to our regular communications in relation to the NHS England public consultation on their proposals for Congenital Heart Disease Services in England.

The consultation period was extended to Monday 17 July to cover the period of purdah prior to the election which prohibited us from communicating fully. There are a number of events coming up in the East Midlands region that I would encourage you to attend if possible. These events give you an opportunity to hear from NHS England directly and ask questions. The events are all detailed on the NHS England website: but for ease are as follows:

  • 22 June – 1.00pm-3.00pm: Lincolnshire Patient, Public and Staff event,
  • 27 June – 5.30pm: Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland Joint OSC, Leicester City Council
  • 30 June – 30pm-3.30pm: Nottingham Patient, Public and Staff event, The Wallace Room, The Education & Conference Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals, City Hospital Campus – to register for this event please

There is an opportunity for short five minute impact statements to be presented at the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Joint Overview & Scrutiny Committee event on Tuesday 27 June. If you would like to contribute with a statement on how you feel the proposals will impact you, your family, or the Congenital Heart Disease profession we would like to hear from you. Please send your statements to Wendy Miller at before Friday 23 June.

The consultation questions are open until Monday 17 July and the support materials to help you complete these questions can still be found on our East Midlands Congenital Heart website

We would encourage everyone who has not completed the question to do so, and pass it on to your friends and families for them to complete. Our team of tireless volunteers continue to help people respond to the questions and at the last time we received details the East Midlands were still accounting for approximately 70% of all responses. If you are able to spare some time to help the team please contact Shirley  Barnes Thank you to the volunteers for their continued support with this.

We will be sending our formal response to the consultation questions in July. We sent our growth plan to NHS England on the 3 May, and are looking forward to engaging with NHS England on the plan now that the purdah has finished. We will share more details on both documents once we have had discussions with NHS England.

We will be holding an EMCHC stakeholder meeting on Thursday 13 July at 6pm in the Clinical Education Centre seminar rooms 2/3 at the Glenfield. All are welcome and this will be an opportunity to share with you our growth plan and our formal consultation response. We would be delighted if you were able to join us; if you would like an invitation please contact Alison Poole on

Our service continues to be very busy and we are delighted to welcome our new surgeon Mr Ikenna Omeje who joins us from Great Ormond Street Hospital. We wish him every success and feel sure he will be a fantastic addition to our team.

Family raise £32k for new ECMO machine

A family from Northamptonshire has donated £32,000 to Heart Link, to purchase much-needed equipment for the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre.

Through skydiving, fetes, bag packing at supermarkets and birthday donations, Denise and Iain Page raised the generous amount of money after their five-year-old daughter, Willow, received Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine treatment in June 2013, following a diagnosis of Myocarditis caused by Parainfluenza.

On Tuesday 20 June, an official unveiling of the new machines will take place at Glenfield where one of the ECMO machines will be named after Willow! The other two machines will be named after the late Heart Link President Dr Vincent Redding and Amanda French, whose treatment at Glenfield led to the founding of Heart Link. Pictures to follow in next week’s briefing!