Concerns over heart unit move

Craig and Dani Woodward with their daughter Poppy EMN-150728-142623001
Craig and Dani Woodward with their daughter Poppy EMN-150728-142623001
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A Melton mum whose daughter was treated at a children’s heart surgery unit in Leicester is concerned about plans to move it across the city.

Dani Woodward is pleased that services are now likely to remain in Leicester after a threat by health chiefs to relocate them to Birmingham.

But she would prefer the unit is kept at Glenfield Hospital, where her three-year-old daughter Poppy has had life-saving operations, rather than being moved to Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI), which is now set to happen within the next three years.

Dani, and husband Craig, stayed overnight at Glenfield Hospital when Poppy had open heart surgery when she was just 20-days-old.

Dani also slept over when her daughter had further open heart surgery at the age of 18 months and she is worried there will not be enough space for parents to do so when services move to the LRI .

She said: “I’m very grateful the unit is not moving to Birmingham but it is important that there is family accommodation at the Royal.

“I stayed by Poppy’s cotside all night and that made it a lot easier.

“Glenfield is a fantastic hospital, it’s got plenty of space and it doesn’t actually feel like a hospital which also helps.

“I would be a lot happier if they could move the unit with the family accommodation over to the LRI with the same standards of hygiene they have at Glenfield.”

The Woodwards did a skydive from 14,000ft three years ago to raise money and awareness for Glenfield charity Heart Link and they also signed a 50,000-name petition protesting against the initial plan to relocate the services to Birmingham, which was shelved after the review process was found to be flawed.

No concrete plans have yet been released on how the proposed new unit at the LRI will look.

Before that happens, it will have to comply with new NHS England standards which dictate whether hospitals can continue treating children with heart problems.

Kate Shields, director of strategy for Leicester’s Hospitals, is confident the city will be able to maintain services in the city.

She said: “We are continuing to move forward with expanding the footprint at Glenfield as part of an interim solution and developing our Outline Business Case for a new Leicester Children’s Hospital at the Royal (LRI).”