NCHDA summary report

This important publication is of interest to anyone concerned about children with congenital heart disease. The National Congenital Heart Disease Audit collects and analyses data from all congenital cardiac centres that undertook surgery, interventional procedures (including electrophysiology) and antenatal detection in the UK and Republic of Ireland between 2018 to 2021.

The complete summary report can be downloaded here.

The key messages from the report can be downloaded here.

The line of site table can be downloaded here.

Key points

The coronavirus pandemic led to a fall in numbers of procedures and increased waiting times, adults were more affected by these delays than children.


Outcome after paediatric cardiac surgery showed a 30-day survival rate of over 98%.

Antenatal diagnosis rose to 52% but variations exist between centres indicating that improvement is needed.

Patients with increased severity of complex CHD are linked to a higher risk of COVID-19 complications.

Fall in numbers of CHD procedures and increased waiting times.

Delay in outpatient appointments, elective investigations and non-surgical activity.

17% drop in overall activity (surgery, intervention and electrophysiology), all age groups affected but largest fall in adult procedures, down 44%.

There was variance between the incidence of each complication between centres for under-16s. 2.4% requiring life support, 1.5% requiring an unplanned pacemaker, 1.8% with prolonged pleural drainage, 4.1% needing renal replacement therapy.

Where levels of care were maintained

Causes for concern


The National Congenital Heart Disease Audit 2022 Annual Report recorded 9749 procedures performed on children and adults born with a congenital heart malformation for the year 2020/21. The report highlights aspects of safety, clinical effectiveness and patient outcomes. The findings continue to demonstrate that the UK and ROI (excluding Scottish centres) have excellent 30-day outcomes that are amongst the best worldwide. The report has also shown diagnostic, interventional and surgical procedure variability between regions and this should drive efforts to bring all centres to the optimal level.

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