We congratulate NHS England on its thorough review of congenital cardiac services and we are very pleased to see the SSCC making tough but very necessary decisions that will bring the congenital heart disease service closer to meeting the agreed standards of care.
We recognise that by making clear that some hospitals do not and will not be able to meet the standards of care will be very disappointing to some groups of patients and their carers. It is vitally important that they are properly supported through any change.
We respect the loyalty felt by patients and their carers to individual centres and to the staff who care for them, but ensuring the improvement to the quality of the service nationally must come first. We would remind everyone that these standards were developed by parents and clinicians together and had widespread support.
We urge everyone concerned with the care of patients with heart conditions, whether it be clinician, manager, carer or politician, to pull together so that implementation can take place in a planned and timely manner. These changes will ensure that all patients requiring treatment for congenital heart disease will have access to world class care in the future.
Anne Keatley-Clarke, Chief Executive
Children’s Heart Federation