A SHAW and Crompton Parish Councillor has stepped up his campaign to highlight the dangers of moving vital congenital heart disease services out of Manchester.
Liberal Democrat Cllr Louie Hamblett, who suffers from adult congenital heart disease, describes living with the condition as “like having a ticking time bomb inside you”.
So, the decision of NHS England to move Level 1 ACHD services from Manchester Heart Centre to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust raised immediate concerns because of increased travelling time and distance for patients.
Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust will continue to provide a full range of level 2 CHD services.
“The condition has to be monitored monthly, six-monthly or yearly,” Cllr Hamblett explained.
“Having surgery can be life changing or life-saving. It must be done right.
“Where is the level of care if they are piling that much pressure on one surgical team?
As a result of Councillor Hamblett’s concerns, the Parish Council wrote to Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Oldham East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams, Angela Rayner, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Jim McMahon, Oldham West and Royton MP and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.
“Angela Rayner doesn’t give you an answer or proper response, Cllr Hamblett told fellow councillors at their January meeting.
“Our closest MP – Debbie Abrahams – copies and pastes responses and quotes.
“Is that the best they can do for congenital patients in our area? It is not good enough for what we have asked.
“Living with ACHD is like living on a knife edge. It is like having a ticking time bomb inside you.
“To ask someone to travel nearly 43 miles away is disgusting.
“I would recommend writing an open letter stating the closure would be detrimental to our residents.”
Cllr Hamblett’s proposal was supported by the Council whose Open Letter is published here:
“Following an announcement in late 2017 by NHS England to relocate Level 1 Adult Congenital Heart Disease services from Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MUHFT) to Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Shaw & Crompton Parish Council wrote to Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Hospital to request that this decision be reconsidered particularly as there are a number of Shaw & Crompton residents that would be directly impacted by this change.
“In addition, the Parish Council also wrote to the Secretary of State for Health, local MPs and the Mayor of Greater Manchester to ask for their support in making representation on behalf of our residents affected in an attempt to retain such a critical service at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Hospital.
“Although the future commissioning arrangements include the delivery of the full range of level 2 Adult CHD services at MUHFT, the Parish Council is nevertheless disappointed to report that the decision to move Level 1 Adult Congenital Heart Disease services from Manchester to Liverpool stands.”