The Children’s Heartbeat Trust has welcomed the announcement from Health Minister Michelle O’Neill and RoI Minister Simon Harris of financial support for the implementation of a world class all-island paediatric cardiac surgical network.
Speaking at the announcement, Sarah Quinlan, Chief Executive, Children’s Heartbeat Trust, said: “We are delighted that the two Ministers have made the financial commitment to the all-island surgical network for children with CHD. For four years children with CHD and their families have faced an uncertain future when it came to accessing treatment and in the last year alone over 125 families have had to travel to England to receive vital surgery.
“It is crucial now that the finances are in place for the service delivery to start and we look forward to working with Minister O’Neill and Minister Harris, as well as clinicians and surgeons both north and south in the coming months to ensure that everything is put in place and the timelines set out are met.”
Ms Quinlan continued: “Throughout this campaign the Children’s Heartbeat Trust has been clear that the main focus must be on the needs of the children and their family, and the solution must be what is best for their care.
“In addition to the development of the all-island network, we want to see further commitment to the service in Belfast for children right across Northern Ireland, by developing the Clark Clinic as a paediatric cardiology centre of excellence, and building on the work of clinicians in Northern Ireland, which is already recognised as a leader in Europe and across the globe.
“Today may go down as a milestone in the development and delivery of an all-island paediatric cardiac surgical network, but only if commitments made are delivered upon.”
Catch up on how the story has been making headlines as below..
Heart Mum, Georgette Speaks to BBC News line
Claire Ball one of our L’Derry family support coordinators talks about the £42M commitment to the all island children’s heart network.