Postponed children’s heart protest back on

A PROTEST march against a proposed cut in children’s heart surgery in Northern Ireland, which was originally postponed in December due to the flags protests at Belfast City Hall, is now set to go ahead on Saturday, February 2, 2013.

The initial protest was scheduled to take place before the closing date of a public consultation, December 21, with the aim of raising awareness of the issue.

The consultation received over 600 responses the vast majority of which have indicated support for an all-island network of children’s heart surgery. This supports the views held by experts and clinicians in the UK and Ireland.

Children’s Heartbeat Trust Executive Officer, Sarah Quinlan said: “This march is one of our last opportunities for everyone to make their voice heard on the vital issue of safeguarding the provision of children’s heart surgery in Northern Ireland.

“The march leaves from the doors of the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children at 11am on the Saturday and will march into Belfast City Centre with a number of speakers outlining how and why an all-island service should be safeguarded and developed.”

“The importance of protecting and enhancing our safe service that cares for sick children and babies with congenital heart problems is surely something all of us in Northern Ireland can rally behind, and I would urge people from Londonderry, including public representatives to join us at this parade,” added Sarah.