Andy Burnham MP, the new shadow secretary of state for health, visited Great Ormond Street Hospital today, his first hospital visit since returning to a role in health.
He visited Cardiac Intensive Care, the cancer and leukaemia wards Lion and Elephant and held a private meeting with staff of all grades. Great Ormond Street Hospital is the largest UK centre for children with heart conditions, and in partnership with UCLH, the largest UK centre for children with cancer.
Chief Executive Dr Jane Collins said “We’re always happy to show people what we do. We discussed the importance of the right decisions around cardiac surgery in children in the Safe and Sustainable review, and also organ donation. We were also able to discuss some of the challenges in children’s cancer and the research we undertake to address them.”
Mr Burnham met Aiden Davey (3) and mother Debbie from Romford Essex. Aiden is on Elephant ward receiving treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).
Dr Anupama Rao, consultant haematologist said “I discussed with Mr Burnham the difference between acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and ALL. There is a 30% difference in outcomes and we need funding for research for new targeted drugs and therapies in AML, so we can see the improvements in care we have seen for other leukaemias.”
Andy Burnham MP, following the visit, said:
“There could be no better place to do my first visit in the new job than Great Ormond Street Hospital. Day in day out, they give hope to parents facing the most unimaginable difficulties. GOSH and it’s inspirational staff are a great example of our wonderful NHS at it’s very best”.