Have your say about proposed changes to local congenital heart disease services

Posted on 06/10/2016 by Tim Gilling. Tags: , ,

In July 2015, the NHS England Board agreed on new standards and service specifications for congenital heart disease services and developed a three tier model with split levels of treatment options and responsibilities. The model divides all centres into the following:

  • Specialist Surgical Centres (Level 1) that provide the most highly specialised diagnostics and care including all surgery and most interventional cardiology
  • Specialist Cardiology Centres (Level 2) that provide specialist medical care, but no surgeries or interventional cardiology
  • Local Cardiology Centres (Level 3) that provide initial diagnostics and ongoing monitoring and care, and services run by general paediatricians/cardiologists with a special interest in congenital heart disease

In January 2016, NHS England started an assessment aiming to see how well the Centres are complying with newly established standards and their roles. Based on the outcome of the assessment, NHS England is proposing to no longer provide special surgical services (Level 1) at three hospitals:

  1. Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  2. University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
  3. Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust

In addition, it is proposing that special medical services (Level 2) will no longer be provided at five hospitals:

  1. Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  2. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  3. Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  4. Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  5. University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust

In light of these proposed changes, NHS England is starting its pre-consultation engagement with affected Trusts, local authorities, Overview and Scrutiny Committees, patient groups and other stakeholders. Authorities and stakeholders from communities that consider proposals will bring a serious change for their residents may also wish to be involved in this engagement before (as well as during) the formal consultation stage. NHS is offering to provide further briefings or attend Health and Well-being Boards (HWBB) or Overview and Scrutiny Committees on request.

You can contact the NHS England team, request a more detailed briefing or attendance at a Health and Well-being Board or Overview Scrutiny Committee via: england.congenitalheart@nhs.net. To keep updated with the latest news on the matter one can visit Will Huxter’s blog available on: https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/spec-services/npc-crg/chd/blogs/  

Following the pre-consultation engagement, NHS England is expecting to hold 12 weeks’ public consultation starting in autumn, and to come up with final decisions by late Spring or early Summer 2017.


This link downloads the NHS Briefing on changes to congenital heart disease services in full.

About the Author: Tim Gilling

Tim is a Director at the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny, leads on health and social care and oversees our work in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.