NHS England delay controversial consultation outcome

Campaigners fighting to save the children’s heart surgery unit at Glenfield Hospital have been told the decision on its fate has been delayed.

NHS England have been conducting a review on services for congenital heart defects focusing on paediatric operations and suggested the Leicester centre would no longer be used for specialist surgery.

A public consultation has ended recently with more than 6,500 people responding and a final decision on the outcome of the review was expected at the NHS England board meeting on September 28.

Now the commissioning body has said it is waiting for more information from provider trusts before making and announcement.

A letter sent out explaining the delay has been circulated by John Adler, chief executive of University Hospitals Leicester which runs the Glenfield unit.

The letter reads: “Dear colleague, as you know, the congenital heart disease (CHD) consultation ended in July and we are determined to ensure careful analysis of the very full responses we have received.

“We are awaiting confirmation of some information supplied by provider trusts before a final recommendation can be put to our public board meeting.

“This will allow a decision on CHD services to be made at our public board meeting on November 30 2017, rather than either later this month or alternatively early next year as had previously been suggested.”

Mr Adler said: “This further delay is of course frustrating and will I appreciate cause further anxiety to patients, their families and our staff in particular. However, we do at least now appear to have a firm commitment to a decision on November 30.”

NHS England say the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre is not meeting new targets for the number of operations which it believes must be carried out to ensure quality of care.

However, the trust has submitted a plan showing in detail how the centre would meet the standards required, which is for three surgeons to deliver 375 surgical cases averaged over the last three years by 2018/19 and by 2020/21 to have four surgeons delivering 500 surgical cases.

 

Article originally appeared on Hinkley Times

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