Information and Advice for patients, carers, relatives and supporters
When congenital heart services at Royal Brompton were threatened in 2013, the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt stopped the planned closure. We want him to do the same again.
We believe the current plans make no sense and should not have been put to public consultation. We also believe the consultation does not give people enough information or the right opportunities to give the feedback they’d want. Public consultations are very expensive – the Secretary of State can intervene to halt the consultation and request that more sensible plans be produced.
Please write to you MP to ask them to take action.
MPs are ultimately interested in your story – your experience of care at Royal Brompton and your concerns about the planned ending of congenital heart disease services. Please write the email in your own style and only include the information you want to.
Email is the quickest and most direct route to contact Members of Parliament. You can find contact details for your MP on the UK Parliament website.
Add an email subject in the header box
You can title your email ‘Congenital Heart Disease at Royal Brompton Hospital’, ‘Saving heart disease services for patients,’ ‘Protecting patients at Royal Brompton,’ ‘Preventing the closure of children’s intensive care/specialist respiratory services,’ ‘My heart disease treatment,’ or any title of your choosing.
Identify Yourself as a Constituent
It is vital to point out early on in the email that you are a constituent and somewhere in the email give your postal address to prove it. MPs’ offices need this before they will take up an issue and respond.
Briefly explain why you are writing
In your own words, introduce the email by saying that:
- You believe NHS England’s plan to end the congenital heart disease (CHD) service at Royal Brompton hospital is not in the interest of patients, and should not have been put to a public consultation
- You believe the consultation does not give people enough information or the right opportunities to give the level of feedback they’d want
- You want your MP to write to Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, asking him to halt the expensive public consultation until more sensible plans have been produced
Explain why you care about Royal Brompton
- Are you a patient at Royal Brompton – is your partner, your son or daughter, another friend or relative? Was this just during childhood or as an adult too?
- What is it about the care you/they experienced at Royal Brompton that you valued so much?
Explain why you are against NHS England’s plans.
Below are some of the reasons our supporters have given for opposing the plans – you may want to use some of them and add your own.
- Royal Brompton is already one of the biggest and best CHD services in the country, with some of the highest patient satisfaction ratings of any NHS Trust. How can closing such a large, well-established and well performing unit be good for patients?
- It will cost millions of pounds to ensure other NHS Trusts have the wards, beds, staff and equipment to treat the 14,000 Royal Brompton staff affected by this plan. How can NHS England justify spending so much money ending such a highly effective service when the NHS has serious financial worries?
- By closing Royal Brompton’s adult CHD research unit – rated the best in the world – NHS England’s would actually harm future care quality by delaying the development of new treatments for CHD.
- NHS England says that because a small number of services for children at Royal Brompton are provided jointly with a neighbouring NHS hospital, the level of care is somehow substandard. But there is no evidence for this, and if this was the case, Royal Brompton wouldn’t already be one of the best-performing CHD services in the country.
- Forcing the CHD services to close will force a number of other services at Royal Brompton to close – but these knock-on effects haven’t been factored into NHS England’s plans. For example, the children’s intensive care unit would have to close along with specialist paediatric respiratory services, which need the backup of intensive care. This will affect thousands of very vulnerable children and babies.
Remind your MP what you want him/her to do about it
End by reminding your MP that you want him/her to write to the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, to request that he halt the public consultation until more sensible plans have been produced. Thank your MP in advance for their efforts, and say that you are looking forward to the response.
To help us keep track of who has been contacted it would be very helpful if you could let us know who you have written to and the date, plus send a copy of any reply you receive from your MP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, as always, for your interest and support!