Leicester

Glenfield Hospital: Rally held for child heart surgery

Glenfield Hospital protest
Image caption More than 100 people attended the protest in Leicester city centre

Campaigners fighting to save children's heart surgery at an East Midlands hospital held a rally in Leicester.

An NHS England consultation on the future of the heart centre at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital closes on 17 July.

NHS England said the hospital's three surgeons are not meeting a total target of performing 375 operations a year.

But Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth said the centre has backing from Labour and Tory MPs in the region.

Mr Ashworth said: "These decisions have to be made on clinical grounds, and I am convinced that after listening to what clinicians have had to say that Leicester has a future.

"I would urge everyone in the East Midlands to respond to the consultation which ends in the next few days."

Image caption The final decision on whether surgery at the heart unit will continue is expected in early 2018.

Steve Score, chairman of the Save Glenfield Children's Heart Centre campaign, said: "We want to keep the awareness up that there is still time to save that centre.

"There is no reason to close the centre that makes sense. We want to make sure this stays in the hearts and minds of everyone because it's so important."

NHS England announced last year that surgery for children born with heart defects should end at Glenfield.

It said the hospital was not meeting new standards and that it was unlikely to do so in the future.

A final decision is likely in early 2018.

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