STRUCTURE: One of the largest teaching hospital trusts in the country is in discussions to locate all of its children’s services on to one site.

University Hospitals of Leicester is set to move its paediatric congenital heart service, currently based at Glenfield Hospital, to join the rest of the trust’s paediatric service at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

The move comes directly in response to draft standards from NHS for paediatric congenital cardiac surgical units in September, which state that “co-location” with other paediatric services is “essential”.

NHS England is currently consulting on the draft standards, with a deadline for submissions due on 8 December.

The move is to take place in three stages over five years, according to trust board documents.

Within the next six to nine months a fully independent paediatric East Midlands congenital heart service is to be established at Glenfield Hospital.

Currently the service is run alongside adult congenital heart services and adult cardiac services on the Glenfield site.

The document suggests that commissioners may then require the trust to co-locate all paediatric services within 18-24, dependent on a timeline given by NHS England in its final published standards.  

Within five years the trust, which in 2012-13 reported a £758m turnover, then plans to establish a fully integrated women’s and children’s hospital at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Kate Shields, director of strategy at Leicester’s Hospitals said: “We are delighted to be embarking on this exciting project to provide a children’shospital which includes all children’s services on one site at Leicester Royal Infirmary.

“The project will include the relocation of our specialist children’s congenital heart services from Glenfield Hospital, and will offer the children of Leicester and the East Midlands access to high quality specialised care within a purposely  designed environment .”

“This exciting project will involve all of our stakeholders, will require a significant fundraising campaign, and offers the opportunity to enhance the excellent level of Children’s services currently offered and expand on our ability to drive innovation and research.”