• East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre will move into the Royal Infirmary where other children’s services are based 
  • UHL must relocate the centre by March 2020 to meet NHS England’s standards
  • The trust needs to raise £10.5m to pay for the move
  • UHL also needs funding to create a women’s hospital

A major hospital trust is to relocate its children’s heart services to ensure it meets new standards set by NHS England.

University Hospitals of Leicester Trust will relocate the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre into the Royal Infirmary where other children’s services are based.

This follows the announcement by NHS England in November that the trust’s congenital heart disease services would not be shut down, despite the year long threat of closure.

The service still faces the threat of future decommissioning if the trust cannot deliver on promises made in its consultation response to NHS England. In order to meet new standards set by NHSE, the EMCHC must be relocated by March 2020.

Chief executive John Adler confirmed that the relocation is part of the trust’s major reconfiguration programme, where all children’s services will move into the same building in the Royal Infirmary and “create a stand-alone Leicester Children’s Hospital”.

“The project for the first phase of this to relocate EMCHC by March 2020 is well underway,” Mr Adler said.

“This will be the first time all children’s services are under one roof in Leicester,” Mr Adler added. “Congenital heart services for adults will remain at Glenfield Hospital, ensuring that we continue to provide lifelong care to our patients.”

UHL confirmed that relocating children’s congenital heart disease services into the Royal Infirmary would cost an estimated £30m. It said it needs to raise £10.5m through charitable fundraising but would provide the remaining £20m.

The trust said its vision is to create “more efficient and effective care” for children across the region, as well as “making access to treatment more convenient for their parents”.

UHL also said it needs capital funding to create a women’s hospital costing £90m at the Royal Infirmary.

The trust said it has “no clear timeframe” of when it would get access to funding from the Department of Health and Social Care to create a women’s hospital, but said it would be seeking the funding from the government through its local sustainability and transformation plan.