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Cyclists raise awareness and money for organ donation

Family and friends of a woman from Cumbria who donated her kidney to her step-mum are raising money for the hospital where the transplant took place.

Shelley Bulmer donated her kidney to Victoria Richardson last year. This weekend, a group of 22 people are cycling from Carlisle to the Freeman hospital in Newcastle to raise more than £1,000.

They also hope to raise awareness of organ donation, as Jenny Longden reports:

Family hope their story will encourage organ donation

When Shelley Bulmer learned that her step mum needed a new kidney to save her life, she was tested to see if she would be a match.

Because they are not biologically related, the chance of a successful pairing was very slim.

It turned out the match was perfect, and last October the pair underwent a successful transplant at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital.

Now they want to raise money and awareness for organ donation and hope their story will encourage more people to get tested to find out if they're a match.

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Family thank hospital for successful transplant

Friends and family of a Cumbrian mother and daughter that underwent a successful kidney transplant are raising money for the unit where they were treated.

22 people will cycle from Carlisle to Newcastle's Freeman Hospital tomorrow, Saturday 10 May, to raise more than £1,000 for the transplant unit.

Shelley Bulmer from Kirby Thore successfully donated her kidney to her step mother Victoria Richardson at the hospital last year.

Reaction after children's heart unit decision

There has been a dramatic turnaround in the decision over where children's heart services should be based.

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has suspended a review, which threatened to close three children's heart surgery units.

It had been previously announced that Newcastle's Freeman Hospital, which takes in patients from across the north of England and Scotland, would become a centre of excellence.

Watch Gregg Easteal's report here:

  1. Tyne Tees

Response from Academy of Medical Royal Colleges

"We would imagine that everyone who wants to see improvements in the care for children would be frustrated at another delay.

"We do recognise that national service change on this scale is a complex undertaking and we offer our full support to work with NHS England and other stakeholders going forward to ensure the benefits of whatever long overdue changes to children's heart services are necessary to provide the best possible service children and their families."

– Professor Terence Stephenson, chairman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
  1. Tyne Tees

"The need for reconfiguration has never been more urgent"

The president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Dr Hilary Cass, says the need for reconfiguration has never been more urgent - and as today's IRP report states and the Health Secretary reiterated, the status quo is not an option.

"It is encouraging that NHS England has been tasked with devising a plan to take forward the review quickly. Decisions around complex issues such as reconfiguration will always involve some difficult judgment calls and hence be open to challenge, however robust the process.

"It's important to identify and acknowledge where there have been shortfalls, but we cannot let the problems with this particular process stall further what is crucial for ensuring safe and sustainable health services for children."

– Dr Hilary Cass, president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

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Hunt: Clinical case for change remains

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was clear the clinical case for changes to how children's heart surgery units are run remains, despite today's suspension of plans to close three units.

Speaking to the House of Commons, Mr Hunt said the independent review he instigated, following complaints from units where closure was recommended, still stressed the "case for change."

  1. National

NHS England welcomes children's heart unit decision

NHS England welcomed Jeremy Hunt's decision to suspend planned closures of three children's heart surgery units and promised to lead plans to rethink how care can be improved.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director for NHS England said:

We welcome the review and NHS England will now study its recommendations in full to learn from them. We will institute a new process that recognises the very strong case for redesigning services to meet the demands of the future whilst addressing the legitimate concerns in our local communities.

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