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Liz Kendall MP: We must make sure that Glenfield's surgeons continue their great work

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Thankfully, most of us will never know how difficult it is to be told your son or daughter needs life-saving heart surgery. This must surely be one of the hardest things for any parent to hear.

As the news gradually sinks in, you'd want to know your child was going to get the best possible treatment and that their operation stood the best possible chance of success.

For months, campaigners have been saying this is exactly what the amazing surgeons, nurses and other staff at Glenfield provide.

The evidence to prove this is now clearer than ever.

Last weekend, NHS bosses finally published the mortality data for all the children's heart surgery services in England.

As we have consistently argued, the results for Glenfield are outstanding. The hospital has the second lowest death rates of any unit in the country.

It shouldn't have taken so long to make this new evidence public. For months, I've been pressing Government ministers to publish the data and ensure it is fully considered – both in the national review of children's heart surgery services and before any final decision is taken about Glenfield.

It beggars belief that Glenfield is proposed to close when it has among the best clinical outcomes for surgery, and a world-class ECMO service that is used by patients across the country.

Incidentally, a journalist recently asked me whether I should really be pressing for the data on death rates to be published: "What if it doesn't support Glenfield?" While I was always confident it would, from the start, my view has been that my constituents have a right to know all the facts. Only then will they be able to choose the best treatment for their child.

We're now in the final stretch of our campaign. The Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP), which is currently reviewing the proposals on children's heart surgery services, will report its findings at the end of the month.

On Monday, I and the MP for Loughborough, Nicky Morgan, arranged for 16 East Midlands MPs – including Leicester's Jon Ashworth and Keith Vaz – to write to the Health Secretary, the Medical Director of NHS England and the chair of the IRP.

We called for the new evidence on mortality rates to be fully considered by the IRP's review, and for the decision to close Glenfield to be over-turned.

Throughout the campaign, the public's support has been incredible.

Thousands of people took part in the initial consultation and 108,987 people signed a Government e-petition to secure a proper debate in Parliament.

Hundreds more have written letters, or come to London to hold a vigil in Westminster, in order to press the hospital's case. I want to take this opportunity to pass on my genuine, heartfelt thanks for everyone's hard work and commitment.

Day in, day out, the surgeons and staff at Glenfield perform miracles. I'm determined to do everything I can to ensure their excellent, life-saving work continues long into the future.

Liz Kendall MP: We must make sure that Glenfield's surgeons continue their great work


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