On Friday 7 July, MP for Leicester South and Shadow Secretary of State for Health, Jon Ashworth, will spend  the afternoon at the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre (EMCHC) at Glenfield showing his support to the on-going congenital hearts consultation.

With just ten days left until the NHS England consultation comes to a close, Mr Ashworth will be given a tour of our Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Ward 30 and Outpatients, by Leicester’s Hospitals Chief Executive John Adler.  The visit will give Mr Ashworth a first-hand experience on how the service works, as well as the chance to meet valuable staff members and patients. 

The East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre identifies and treats patients with congenital heart defects (a fault in the structure of the heart and vessels which is present at birth). The centre consists of services to treat children and adults, which include a dedicated children’s cardiac ward, PICU/ ICU, theatre, catheter lab and outpatient department. The centre is also home to our internationally-renowned ECMO (Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) service, which treats some of the sickest babies, children and adults in the country, making it the busiest centre in the UK.

The centre and its services are currently under threat after NHS England announced in June 2016 its proposals to stop heart surgery being performed at Glenfield.

John Adler, Chief Executive at Leicester’s Hospitals, said: “I am happy to welcome Jon to the centre to meet staff and patients and hear in more details our plans and to understand more about the great work we do and how vital the service is to our patients. I would like to thank him for his continued support.” 

Jon Ashworth, MP, said: “We are proud of our congenital heart surgery unit at the Glenfield and I am looking forward to spending time there talking with staff and patients from various departments.

“My friend Liz Kendall has been leading the campaigning to keep the unit at Glenfield, and I’ve worked with her and Leicestershire MPs on this important issue. I would urge everyone across to Leicester to respond to the consultation before it closes.

“Readers of the Leicester Mercury recently set out their priorities for new Government following a survey run by the paper with saving Glenfield’s heart unit a top priority for more than 60 per cent of those who took part in the survey. We are listening to that public voice, and as part of our continued support a cross-party group of MPs from across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland met on Tuesday with hospital bosses and clinicians in London, which was really positive.”

The consultation comes to an end on Monday 17 July. There is still time to respond to the NHS England consultation here: http://www.eastmidlandscongenitalheart.nhs.uk/consultation/