A heart surgery unit based in Leicester which treated children from our area has been given a reprieve after a review which threatened to close it was suspended.
Glenfield Hospital provides cardiac services for youngsters and last year was one of four units threatened with the axe by an NHS review.
However, Health Secretary James Hunt yesterday (Wednesday, June 12) said he was suspending the review because it was based on ‘flawed analysis’.
Mr Hunt said he agreed with the review’s belief that there needed to be fewer units, he said there were too many questions unanswered about how this could be done.
Mr Hunt, speaking about a report made by the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, which looked at the proposals for children’s congenital heart services: “It strongly agrees with the case for change, specifically that congenital cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology should only be provided by specialist teams.
“However, the report also concludes the outcome of the Safe and Sustainable review was based on a flawed analysis of the impact of incomplete proposals and leaves too many questions about sustainability and implementation.”
The Conservative Cabinet member said all interested parties would now have time to reflect on the IRP report and he has asked NHS England to report back to him by the end of July on how it intend to proceed.
When the likelihood of Glenfield’s closure was announced last year, a number of readers who had experience with the unit contacted the Telegraph with their own experiences of the unit.
Lawrence Edward McBride of Corby was treated there after being born in Kettering General Hospital in November 2011 with serious heart valve and lung problems.
He was transported to Glenfield Hospital where staff attached an ECMO machine. Dedicated staff there battled to save his life and he began to improve. But he developed a severe bleed and died in the arms of his mum, Victoria.
Dad David said: “We had 12 priceless days with Lawrence which we would not have had if it wasn’t for the equipment and care of the staff at Glenfield.”