The meeting was attended by many members of the public, including patients and their families, as well as senior doctors from Glenfield and NHS England Officials.
During the meeting there were very passionate questions and comments from the audience. People are extremely worried about what the proposals will mean for our excellent ECMO service, for travel times to other hospitals, and for the vital ongoing support that Glenfield provides to parents and families.
On Tuesday 7th February I was interviewed on BBC East Midlands Today about whether patients are getting enough information on the excellent services provided at Glenfield Hospital and why I think Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt should look again at referrals for children’s heart surgery in the East Midlands. You can watch the full programme here.
On Friday 10th February I led a group of patients, NHS staff, local campaigners and MPs to deliver a petition of 128,356 signatures to Number 10 Downing Street calling for a public review into NHS England’s plans to stop children’s heart surgery services at Glenfield Hospital.
The sheer number of people who signed the petition shows the strength of public opposition to the plans. It wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work and commitment of local campaigners, patients and staff – and I want to thank everyone who has been involved from the bottom of my heart.
I am more convinced than ever that it would be a huge mistake to stop children’s heart surgery at Glenfield. Our service has amongst the best clinical outcomes of any children’s heart surgery unit in the country and was recently rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.
If the plans go ahead, the East Midlands would be the only region in the country without a children’s heart surgery unit, denying choice to hundreds of parents who want their children to be treated at Glenfield.
I’m determined to make sure the views of local people are heard loud and clear, and to continue our campaign against these proposals.
My latest article for the Leicester Mercury is about why I will be fighting Government plans to cut funding for 20 schools in Leicester. You can read it here.