1. ITV Report

Decision due on future of children's heart unit

Photo: ITV News Central

A decision is due today on whether Glenfield Children's Heart Unit in Leicester will close or not.

It is a decision that could leave children having to travel 50 miles to receive life saving treatment at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

The East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre identifies and treats patients with heart defects present at birth.

When NHS England announced plans to stop surgery at Glenfield in June 2016 it said surgeons are not doing enough operations to meet safety standards.

It came after a nationwide review into how youngsters with heart defects will be treated in the future.

The centre includes a children's cardiac ward and paediatric intensive care unit, but also treats adults and has a theatre and outpatient department.

  • A patient who received care at Glenfield Children's Heart Unit told ITV News about her upset at the prospect of it closing

Campaigners have been fighting to keep the unit open for the past 17 months over concerns of patients having to travel further for treatment.

Shadow health secretary and Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth also made a visit to the intensive care unit to show his concern about the possible closure in July 2016.

If NHS Engalnds chooses to end the service, the hospital will lose a lot of equipment and many surgeons and other clinical staff will have to leave.

The hospital says due to having specialist equipment, the centre is the busiest in the UK.

A Trust Board and stakeholder meeting is scheduled for 7 December, regardless of the decision made today.

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