Children’s Heart Federation responds to CQC investigation into Bristol Children’s Hospital care

After a number of concerns over cases of poor care at Bristol Children’s Hospital and an unannounced inspection of the hospital by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) a number of issues have been raised about the level of staffing and training at the unit. The Children’s Heart Federation has raised its serious concerns about these cases and is worried about these issues across the care system.

Anne Keatley-Clarke, Chief Executive of CHF commented, “The Children’s Heart Federation is very concerned by the findings of the CQC.  We feel that these issues are systematic of a wider problem in children’s heart care services across the country”

“Due to the long delays in reaching a decision about the future makeup of services, and now further hold-ups due to referrals to the secretary of state and a judicial review, necessary investment in to services and staffing is on hold”.

“We are extremely concerned about the planning blight which has resulted from uncertainty over which units will continue to provide surgery. Hospitals uncertain about their futures are reluctant to make the necessary investment and to recruit additional staff, which are greatly needed. Until there is some clarity we fear possible other cases like this and deteriorating care”.

The Safe and Sustainable review recommended a new set of national quality standards to ensure the highest quality of care. It included the requirement for each surgical unit to have 4 surgeons conducting between 400 and 500 operations per year, thereby ensuring the highest quality care of children needing heart surgery with around the clock care provided. The Children’s Heart Federation has joined with the medical professional associations in supporting the new standards.

Ms Keatley-Clarke added, “Parents, national charities and professional associations involved all agree that that the changes planned are necessary to improve the quality of care and outcomes for children”.

If you have any concerns about this issue, or the treatment of your child at any unit or hospital across the country you can call our free infoline on 0808 808 5000 for independent and confidential advice.