On Monday 22 October, MPs finally managed to secure a debate in Parliament about the future of Glenfield’s children’s heart surgery unit.
This debate was made possible because more than 100,000 people signed a government e-petition, set up by Adam Tansey, whose son Albert has been treated at Glenfield.
MPs from across the East Midlands made strong and passionate speeches about the fantastic services at Glenfield, which you can watch by clicking here (my speech begins at 17:28).
Just hours before the debate, it emerged that Jeremy Hunt, the new Health Secretary, has asked the Independent Reconfiguration Panel to conduct a full review into the recommendations of Safe and Sustainable, including that Glenfield’s services should be moved to Birmingham.
Whilst I welcome this review, I am extremely disappointed that Mr Hunt says it should not include the former Secretary of State Andrew Lansley’s decision to move Glenfield’s children’s ECMO service.
When pressed in the debate, the Government Minister Anna Soubry said this decision might be looked at again in “exceptional circumstances”. I argued in the strongest possible terms that it must be, because Glenfield’s children’s heart surgery and ECMO services are inextricably linked.
Glenfield’s children’s ECMO service has 50% higher survival rates than any other unit in the country. It would take at least 5, and probably up to 10 years to bring another service up to Glenfield’s standard.
It simply does not make sense to shut this world class service when our aim should be to provide the best possible standards of care.
I will continue to make the case for Glenfield – including to the new independent review which has to report back by 28 February – working with Glenfield’s staff, local campaigners, the City Council and MPs from all parties.