Scotland politics

Congenital heart patients 'need more help', MSPs told

A health campaigner born with a hole in her heart has said more must be done to help Scots adults living with lifelong heart problems.

Dr Liza Morton claimed the lives of people with congenital conditions were at risk without proper national standards of care to help them.

Making a plea to MSPs, Dr Morton called on the Scottish government to bring them into force.

She said health bosses in England and Wales were consulting on the issue.

Dr Morton also said the Scottish Adult Congenital Cardiac Service was "under-resourced for the growing population it is required to care for".

She told the Scottish Parliament's public petitions committee that 450-600 babies were born with a congenital heart condition every year in Scotland and 15,600 adults were living with the condition.

She said the survival rate since the 1940s had increased from 20% to 90%, and there were now many more adults coping with the condition.

Dr Morton, who uses a pacemaker, told MSPs that, when she moved from paediatric care to adult care 16 years ago, there was no specialist "transit" service, which meant many people in her generation becoming lost in the system.

She said there may be thousands of undetected adults with congenital heart conditions.

Dr Morton said: "Living with a heart condition from birth is difficult enough without having to fight our way through the medical system.

"We need standards for our care to ensure safety, equity of access and quality of life and an adequately funded national specialist centre - we have needed this for many years."

The committee decided to write to the Scottish government on the issue.

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