Success of e-petition forces Glenfield debate

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Families in South Holland are considering the outcome of a parliamentary debate on the future of a children’s heart surgery unit in Leicester.

More than 100,000 people signed an online petition against a decision to move treatment from Glenfield Hospital to Birmingham, triggering a scheduled debate yesterday in the House of Commons.

The Government is reviewing recommendations made by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) in July to close Glenfield’s child heart surgery which carries out the pioneering ECMO heart treatment.

One of the families campaigning to save the heart surgery unit is Francesca and Christer Larsson whose two-year-old daughter Sofia had life-saving treatment at Glenfield.

Mrs Larsson, of Stonegate, Spalding, said: “We were surprised and encouraged when we heard the parliamentary debate was happening so soon, just three months after the e-petition gained over 100,000 signatures.

“It shows just how strong public feeling is on the matter and a growing number of MPs are joining the campaign to save children’s heart surgery and ECMO at Glenfield.”

John Hayes, MP for South Holland and The Deepings, pledged to argue for health services to be spread evenly across the country but would wait for the outcome of the Department of Health’s review.

He said: “My anxiety has always been to have proper care accessible to my constituents and that’s the argument I will make, but we will have to wait and see what the Department of Health’s position.”