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Author Archives: Young Hearts

Joint Surgical Service

Young Hearts set out our proposals for a joint Oxford/Southampton surgical service operating on both sites, pointing out that both hospitals command world-class regional status with well-equipped modern theatres and regional paediatric intensive care units.

This dual site model satisfactorily answers the needs of patients, their parents and the Government’s commitment to excellence of clinical care.

It is a flexible model of care that Young Hearts believes could work equally well in different parts of the country.

New review of Congenital Heart Services in England

This is now being undertaken by NHS England. Bill McCarthy , Director for Policy NHS England is leading this work. John Holden is key contact at NHS England.

If you want to tune intro the latest developments and comments, look at http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/07/11/john-holden-2

Meetings have been held with all stakeholders including local groups like Young Hearts.
Caroline Langridge, our Chairman,  attended the first national meeting for local groups which was held in London on 7 August 2013. It was declared at the meeting that there was a commitment to openness and transparency.

We will keep you posted on this work as it develops at NHS England.

Safe & Sustainable Review

Oxford Young Hearts’ has, over the past few years, taken the lead in responding to the Safe and Sustainable Review, speaking on behalf of our members in public consultation, to politicians and civil servants.

In June an announcement was made by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, of the suspension of the Safe and Sustainable Review of Children’s Heart Surgery. Mr Hunt concluded that The Safe & Sustainable Review was based on a flawed analysis of the impact of incomplete proposals, leaving too many questions about sustainability and implementation.

We welcome this decision. Although it will create some uncertainty about which centres will eventually be designated, we do not think this will undermine the clear case for the joint Oxford / Southampton Network established three years ago in response to the review. We expect Oxford to maintain and expand on its position as a leading children’s cardiac centre as part of this Network.

The Secretary of State was commenting on the report he had received from his specially appointed Independent Reconfiguration Panel, (IRP), following previous recommendations made last July by the NHS Safe and Sustainable Review of children’s congenital heart services, (S&S), to axe children’s congenital heart services in three hospitals.

The S & S recommendations ratified by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts on 4 July 2012 have been severely contested by staff and patients’ groups alike, with many national and local politicians lobbying to save the units.  Young Hearts welcomes the IRP’s criticism of the process used to select which hospitals would continue to provide surgery and the recognition that the decision-making process used by the JCPCT was flawed. We see no reason why, based on the premise that the needs of heart children and their parents are paramount, a model of care system should not be established between The John Radcliffe and Southampton General Hospitals which takes the surgical cardiac services to the patients, rather than making patients travel up to three hours to access care

Representatives from Young Hearts had the opportunity to put their case to the Independent Review Panel when it visited Oxford in February. We set out our proposals for a joint Oxford/Southampton surgical service operating on both sites, pointing out that both hospitals are world-class teaching hospitals with well-equipped modern theatres and in Oxford’s case a modern dedicated Children’s Hospital. Both hospitals have regional standard paediatric intensive care units and Oxford is expanding its facilities to host the largest Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the Region.

Three years ago, Oxford and Southampton joined together to create a single service for cardiac children with cardiology services on both sites and surgical services located on the Southampton site. It has operated successfully under a single Network Board made up of senior managers and clinicians from both hospitals. However, we believe this can be improved upon. We see no reason why, based on the premise that the needs of heart children and their parents are paramount, a model of care system should not be established between The John Radcliffe and Southampton General Hospitals which takes the surgical cardiac services to the patients, rather than making patients travel up to three hours to access care.

This model of joint partnership would enable the creation of a joint group, including up to seven surgeons, so increasing flexibility, as both sites already have helipads, by allowing clinical teams to reach either site within fifteen minutes in response to an emergency.

Young Hearts will continue to promote this model of care as part of the next stage of discussions on the future of children’s heart surgery in England.

Summer Fun Day at RAF Benson

RAF-Fire-Engine

An amazing day was enjoyed by the sixty or so children and their families who attended RAF Benson on August 14th.

A huge ‘Thank You’ to all those in 33 Squadron who organised the day, and for their wonderful hospitality.

The £140 that was raised by the squadron’s sponsored run really was “the icing on the cake.”

2013 Upcoming Events

santa

We hope that all those who attended our Summer Fun Day enjoyed themselves.
 Please make sure you have Saturday, 14 December in your diary, as that is the day of our fabulous Christmas Party, which will return this year to the John Radcliffe.

If you would like more details, e-mail us at info@younghearts.org.uk, or write to us at  P.O. Box 602, Abingdon OX14 9GH.’

 

Christmas 2012 Party

Christmas-2012-picture

Over a hundred children, parents and their families enjoyed a fabulous Young Hearts Christmas party held last December at Tingewick Hall at the John Radcliffe.

Yvonne Thomas, committee member and key organiser, was delighted at the result:

Apart from everyone having a special day, we managed to raise £868 from our tombola, raffle, auction and personal donations.

All the children were delighted by a visit from Father Christmas, each receiving a special present. As you can see they all sang and clapped during an impromptu concert given by visiting pantomime characters.

Looking at their faces you can observe many benefi tted from the face painting and nail bar activities.

A very big ‘Thank You’ to all who helped us make this a very special festive day.