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Second-lowest death rate in the country at Glenfield


The children's heart surgery unit at Glenfield Hospital – which is set to be axed in an NHS shake-up – has the second-lowest death rate in the country, figures have revealed.

The data has prompted campaigners to call for the decision to shut the unit to be overturned.

The figures, which cover every children's heart centre in the country, were not taken into account by the NHS panel which decided Glenfield and three other heart centres should close as part of a review called Safe and Sustainable.

However, it has emerged the figures will now be taken into account by the independent experts looking into the panel's controversial decision.

The move has been welcomed by campaigners and politicians fighting to keep the Leicester centre open.

Leicester West MP Liz Kendall has written to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt asking him to overturn the decision to close the Glenfield unit.

Ms Kendall, who, along with campaigners, has been pressing the Government to release information on death rates, said: "This new information proves what we have been saying for months.

"The children's heart surgery unit at Glenfield provides excellent standards of care.

"It beggars belief the unit is earmarked for closure when it has the second-lowest death rate of any of the services in the country.

"The Government must now overturn the decision."

In the House of Commons yesterday, Mr Hunt confirmed the figures would be considered by the group of independent experts, called the Independent Reconfiguration Panel.

The information on death rates in the children's heart centres was published on Friday by NHS England following the temporary suspension of heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary, another of the centres earmarked for closure.

Five patients due to have surgery in Leeds were transferred to Glenfield Hospital.

Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan said: "At last, the message is getting through.

"It is important people know how good Glenfield is."

Eric Charlesworth, of former health watchdogs the Leicester and the Leicestershire Local Involvement Networks, said: "It is good news this data has been published.

"We have been asking for this for quite a while. The information underlines statements from Glenfield Hospital about how good it is."

Robyn Lotto, who has been campaigning for Glenfield, said: "Although there are a lot of caveats in comparing outcomes, the data looks really good for Glenfield."

Adam Tansey, from Burbage, whose son Albert was born with half a heart, founded the charity Keep the Beat, which has been campaigning to keep children's heart services at Glenfield.

He said: "I cannot understand why this data wasn't originally considered."

HOW THE HOSPTALS COMPARE Mortality data was compiled by the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research and published by NHS England. The list below begins with the hospitals with the lowest relative risk scores for mortality from 2009-12; the lower the number, the lower the risk. Brompton Hospital, London – 0.62 Freeman Hospital, Newcastle – 0.62 Glenfield Hospital – 0.65 Southampton General Hospital – 0.78 Birmingham Children's Hospital – 0.89 Great Ormond Street Hospital, London – 0.96 Bristol Royal Hospital for Children – 1.17 Evelina Children's Hospital, London – 1.32 Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool – 1.33 Leeds General Infirmary – 1.47

Second-lowest death rate in the country at Glenfield

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