Ruling puts Glenfield Hospital campaign 'back to square one'

Glenfield Hospital
Image caption A decision on Glenfield had been due in December

Campaigners fighting to save a children's heart unit in Leicester say they are disappointed a legal ruling could delay a decision on its future.

Glenfield Hospital is one of several cardiac centres under threat as part of an NHS reorganisation of services.

However the process is likely to be restarted after London's Royal Brompton Hospital won a High Court judicial review over plans to close it.

Campaigners said the decision had put things "back to square one".

The Department of Health's Safe and Sustainable review examined all of England's child cardiac units in a bid to concentrate services in fewer, better units.

The west London hospital challenged the way the consultation was carried out by NHS bosses, who now plan to appeal.

As a result of the ruling being upheld, the wider consultation will almost certainly have to be carried out again.

'Another fight'

In Leicester, campaign group Heart Link collected more than 100,000 signatures in a bid to convince the review team that Glenfield Hospital should remain open.

Group member Graham Brown said: "It's going to be another huge expense again which can be spent better on serving the patients that need heart surgery rather than campaigning and printing material.

"Let's hope we don't have to go through that again and some kind of compromise can be sorted."

Fellow campaigner Amanda French, who had surgery on a rare heart condition at Glenfield as a baby, said: "We're thinking 'are we back to square one?' - but we're well up for another fight."

Giles Peek, a surgeon at Glenfield, said: "Going back to square one would be a huge piece of work for everybody.

"We hope that we can move forward and get the result we need without having to do that."

A decision on Glenfield's future had been due in December but NHS bosses said even if the review had to be restarted it hoped to deliver a decision by next spring.

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