County council committee to take immediate action over children's heart surgery proposals

Members of Lincolnshire's Health Scrutiny Committee have unanimously voted to seek NHS England's commitment to carry out a full public consultation over the proposed de-commissioning of congenital heart disease surgery for children at the nearest centre for Lincolnshire patients.

The committee have agreed that the proposal, announced earlier this month, to end these services at the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre (formerly known as Glenfield Hospital) in Leicester, would equate to a substantial change in health service provision requiring NHS England to consult the public. The next nearest centre will be Birmingham.

Chairman of the committee, Coun Christine Talbot, said: “The committee are concerned at how suddenly this proposal has been put forward and without the necessary consultation. We do not believe NHS England have thought through the full implications of stopping these services for very sick children and babies in Lincolnshire and across the East Midlands.

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“I will be writing to NHS England immediately, on behalf of the committee, to remind them of their duty to carry out a full public consultation.

“If they inform us that they do not intend to carry out this consultation, we will not be letting this rest. The committee have agreed that this would be a trigger to begin more formal discussions with NHS England to put this case forward.”