Page last updated at 12:47 GMT, Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Scottish Parliament

Dr Liza Morton, who was born with a hole in the heart, told the Public Petitions Committee lives were at risk while there were no Scottish national standards for the care of adult congenital heart patients.

Dr Morton was giving evidence on her petition entitled 'Scottish standards for the care of adult congenital heart patients' .

In it she calls on the Scottish government to mandate national standards for the care of adult congenital heart patients and to adequately resource the Scottish Adult Congenital Cardiac Service (SACCs) , which she told the committee was "under resourced for the growing population it is required to care for".

She said: "I am from the first generation of ACHD (adult congenital heard disease) and I moved from paediatric care to adult care 16 years ago, for us there was no specialist service to transit to and many of us were discharged and lost to the system".

Dr Morton told MSPs she had personally experienced "life threatening problems" at an accident and emergency where she had been treated by a non-specialist who had displayed a "lack of understanding".

She also called on patients in Scotland to get equitable treatment as those in England and Wales, where a set of standards was currently going out to consultation.

She said "There is no justification for NHS Scotland to continue delaying developing and adopting them".

"Having navigated the challenges of a childhood lived with heart disease as adults we ask the Scottish government to continue to support us on this difficult journey.

"Living with a heart condition is difficult enough without having to fight our way through the medical system".

Dr Morton also highlighted the thousands of undetected adults with ACHD who may be in Scotland.

Vicki Hendry, from the Somerville Foundation , said the National Services Division (NSD) responsible for commissioning and performance managing Specialist Clinical Services on behalf of NHS Scotland had "specifically said to me this year that there's no point in us having standards in Scotland because we wouldn't be able to meet them, and that's what NSD said which is scary, that's a scary thing and it shouldn't be, it should not be."

She continued "NSD said that the Cystic Fibrosis Trust introduced standards and there was no point and they couldn't be met and there was no point us doing it here in Scotland".

The committee agreed to continue the petition and write to the Scottish government and relevant agencies.

MSPs then considered two more new petitions: one on a review of the smoking ban and one on public access to court records.

They then considered current petitions including school bus safety, A90/A937 safety improvements, a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses and improving emergency ambulance provision in remote and rural areas.

Public Petitions Committee membership

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