Yesterday I met with doctors and nurses from Glenfield Hospital to discuss the way forward in our fight to save Glenfield’s excellent children’s heart surgery unit, and prevent our ECMO service from being moved to Birmingham.
I am very concerned that the previous Health Secretary Andrew Lansley signed off the decision without giving full consideration to some fundamental concerns raised about the move, including by leading international ECMO experts. Glenfield doctors yesterday showed me the latest data on this issue, and the new figures further support our claim that the decision to move children’s heart services from Leicester to Birmingham isn’t the best way forward for children in Leicester, the East Midlands or the country as a whole.
I am very pleased to see that the move has now been referred to the Independent Reconfiguration Panel, and the Panel has been asked to provide an initial review of the referral by 21st September. Jon Ashworth, Keith Vaz and I have requested an immediate meeting with the new Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, and we will press him to ensure the Panel considers the important clinical evidence which points to the potentially risky consequences of moving this excellent service elsewhere.