University backs the standard of childrens cardiac surgery at local hospital

The Head of the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology, and the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester have issued a joint statement in support of the local authorities and clinicians working together to keep surgery for children born with heart defects at Leicester’s Glenfield Hospital.

The news that NHS England intended to decommission children’s cardiac surgery was shared with John Adler, the Chief Executive of Leicester’s Hospitals, by letter.

Cardiovascular research is a major strength of the University of Leicester, and clinical researchers work closely with the University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS Trust.

Head of College and Dean of Medicine Professor Philip Baker has confirmed the clinical strengths at the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre, saying: “Clinical outcomes at the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre are amongst the best in the country. There are a handful of centres in England and Wales offering heart surgery to children with congenital heart disease, and Glenfield had been on track to meet the new national standards including the number of complex surgeries carried out by each surgeon.

“We shouldn’t underestimate the impact that decommissioning surgery will have on patients and their families across the East Midlands and wider Eastern region. Leicester receives young patients from as far afield as Norwich and Lincoln. If services are lost at Glenfield, those patients would have to travel as far as London, Birmingham or Leeds.”

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle commented: “Leicester has a proud record of excellence in cardiovascular care. Our thoughts are with local NHS clinicians and researchers who want to see that tradition continue – as well as the patients who may be affected by the decommissioning of local services. John Adler has our full support, and we look forward to working with the local NHS trust to outline the clinical case for the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre.”

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