5th July 2012
Safe and Sustainable – the NHS review into the future of children’s congenital heart services in England – has announced that Alder Hey will be one of seven specialist centres for paediatric cardiac surgery.
The decision to retain Alder Hey as the leading cardiac centre in the North West follows a two year review of children’s heart services, involving patients, families, clinicians, professional organisations and patient groups throughout England and Wales. More than 75,000 people responded to public consultation in 2011, one of the largest ever NHS consultations.
Under changes to be implemented in 2014, the NHS will:
Seven children’s congenital heart networks will be established across England and Wales: the North; North West and North Wales; the Midlands; South Central; the South West and South Wales; with two networks serving London, East Anglia and the South East.
Alder Hey’s Chief Executive Louise Shepherd said: “This is fantastic news for Alder Hey and is testament to the high level of service that our cardiac team provides. Children’s heart surgery is becoming increasingly complex and specialised, therefore these changes are necessary to ensure the very best care for children and young people.”
Cardiac Surgeon Prem Venugopal said: “Safe and Sustainable wants to create fewer, larger surgical centres so that surgeons work in larger teams and surgical expertise can be pooled. By pooling surgical expertise the NHS would ensure that all centres are in a better position to provide the right care at the right time.
“All specialist surgical centres will be required to carry out the minimum number of 400 children’s heart operations a year. Alder Hey already sees around 400-450 patients a year and, in light of the Safe and Sustainable decision, would invest further in the service to meet the demand of an increase in patients.”
Following the decision the NHS will work with staff and families to develop detailed plans to implement these changes and ensure that congenital heart networks across England are operational in 2014. Change will be managed by regional Network Boards overseen by NHS Commissioners who will be advised by the national Implementation Advisory Group, chaired by Professor Deirdre Kelly. The NHS will be inviting parents to get involved in the development of the congenital heart networks to ensure their needs are met.
More information about the review can be found here: www.specialisedservices.nhs.uk/safeandsustainable
The JCPCT decided the following configuration for Congenital Heart Networks:
· Specialist Surgical Centre: Freeman Hospital, Newcastle
· Potential Children’s Cardiology Centre: Leeds General Infirmary
The North West and North Wales
· Specialist Surgical Centre: Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool
· Existing Children’s Cardiology Centre at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital
· Specialist Surgical Centre: Birmingham Children’s Hospital
· Potential Children’s Cardiology Centre: Glenfield Hospital, Leicester
London, East Anglia and the South East
· Specialist Surgical Centres: Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and Evelina Children’s Hospital
· Potential Children’s Cardiology Centre: Royal Brompton Hospital
The South West
· Specialist Surgical Centre: Bristol Royal Hospital for Children
· Existing Children’s Cardiology Centre at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff
· Specialist Surgical Centre: Southampton General Hospital
· Potential Children’s Cardiology Centre: John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford