Last week we sent our latest response (attached) to NHS England, covering the points they raised in their communication of the 14th November. We feel that this, along with the communications sent on 13th October and 7th November, provides NHS England with a clear explanation of how we meet (or have robust plans to meet) the standards. No plans are of course without risk, but we strongly feel that ours provide significantly less risk than the risks inherent in the proposed changes to the commissioning of congenital heart services at East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre (EMCHC).

It is of course part of the pre-consultation process for communication to go back and forth and we are hopeful that our attention to detail, professionalism and willingness to share information will help NHS England to change their position regarding the future of EMCHC. We are still awaiting a formal response from NHS England to our self-assessment response which we will of course share when we get it.

In parallel to our own engagement with NHS England, on 28th November Liz Kendall MP facilitated a meeting for a cross party group of East Midlands MPs with NHS England which was attended by Dr Jonathan Fielden and Prof Huon Gray. In this meeting some of the same concerns regarding our ability to meet the standards that were raised back in July were again represented to MPs. This is, to be honest, disappointing.

Liz Kendall asked us to respond to the points made, to ensure the East Midlands MPs were equipped with all the facts; we have done this is in some detail and Liz will now be asking NHS England to return to meet with the cross party MPs to explain why their understanding of the position varies from ours. 

I would like to thank Cllr Rory Palmer for his recent help to promote the campaign, and especially the online petition. He arranged for a huge banner with all the campaign details to be projected on the wall of the Ramada Hotel opposite City Hall on Charles Street at the entrance to the cultural quarter area of Leicester. It will appear on the wall every day from around 4.30pm until 1am through until the end of the petition phase on the 22 January. This is an incredible way of raising awareness; please let everyone know to keep an eye out for this and go online to sign the petition. The Ramada management team have contacted us offering to help in any way possible for which we are very grateful; it is heartening to see our local businesses supporting the campaign so much.

Petition

The petition, as we said last week, has now exceeded 100,000 signatures when we combine the online and offline petitions, however we are not stopping and we continue to get as many signatures as possible. The online total is 42,324 and the offline total is 59,600. If you know of anyone who has yet to sign the petition please share this link with them: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/160455. We will be presenting the combined total to Liz Kendall in the New Year for her to present to try and generate another parliamentary debate.

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. Here is an example of what the case studies will look like:

letter-from-uhl-to-will-huxter-05-12-2016


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