NHS England announces plans to restructure children's heart surgery services

NHS England has announced plans to restructure children's heart surgery services in England, which will include reducing the number of specialist surgical centres from 13 to 10.

Subject to consultation, this will see surgery transferred from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust to alternative trusts by April 2017.

In 2015, NHS England published new commissioning standards for congenital heart disease services following extensive consultation with patients and their families, clinicians and other experts.

Since then, hospital trusts providing CHD services have been asked to assess themselves against the standards, which came into effect from April 2016, and report back on their plans to meet them within the set time frames.

NHS England will continue to monitor progress at the 10 remaining surgical centres, including University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, and provide assistance where necessary to help trusts meet the required standards in full.

Following the announcement, Dr Kevin Roman, a consultant paediatric cardiologist and clinical lead at Southampton Children’s Hospital, said: “Staff in our unit have continued to provide the highest standards of treatment and care for patients and their families in recent years despite much uncertainty over the future of children’s heart surgery services in England.

“During that time, we have maintained our position as one of the top-performing centres in the country and, in partnership with Oxford Children’s Hospital, have continued to work successfully towards meeting the requirements set out by NHS England to deliver the best possible care to patients in the south.

“We are delighted for the patients, families and staff across the Oxford-Southampton Congenital Cardiac Network and we will continue to work with all our regional partners to produce a high quality, sustainable service for all in our care over the coming months and years.”

Visit https://www.england.nhs.uk/2016/07/chd-future/ for the full story.

Posted on Friday 8 July 2016