26 June 2012
Today in Parliament, MPs have highlighted the threat to children’s respiratory care and research at Royal Brompton Hospital.
Gordon Henderson, Conservative MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, has laid down an Early Day Motion (EDM) highlighting how the closure of the children’s heart surgery unit at Royal Brompton, as part of a national plan to reduce the number of such units in England, will also damage specialist services for children with cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and other respiratory illnesses because access to an on-site intensive care unit will no longer be possible.
If a Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) decides to stop children’s heart surgery at Royal Brompton, its children’s intensive care unit will have to close. The immediate consequence of this is that specialist care for respiratory patients who need an on-site intensive care unit will have to stop. Some of Europe’s leading respiratory research programmes, particularly for cystic fibrosis, will also be adversely affected as a consequence of such a decision.
The EDM, which is co-sponsored by Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Conservative MP for Kensington and John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, urges health ministers to meet hospital doctors to hear about the devastating impact of the recommendations made by the JCPCT.
Mr Henderson said: “Royal Brompton is a national specialist centre. We should be protecting its teams of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and others who have the skills to help children and babies who have the most serious heart and lung conditions. We now have a week until a decision is made on children’s heart surgery – whatever happens we cannot let the expert teams carrying out research into rare respiratory conditions be destroyed as a result.”
The JCPCT makes its decision on 4 July at a public meeting that will be streamed live.
Find your MP here and ask them to sign the EDM by 2 July
Read our press release about the EDM