On July 4th 2012 a Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts met in public to decide the future configuration of children’s congenital heart services. The JCPCT considered 12 options for change and decided that Option B would provide the best quality care. This will see congenital heart networks formally structured around Specialist Surgical Centres in Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle and Southampton. Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and Evelina Children’s Hospital will lead the congenital heart networks in London and the South East.
The JCPCT also agreed 160 separate quality standards that must be met by children’s heart surgical centres in the future and new arrangements for collecting, analysing and reporting outcome data.
In the immediate future, expert surgeons will continue to perform surgical operations at at the Royal Brompton Hospital in London, Leeds General Infirmary, and Glenfield Hospital in Leicester. In the longer term, the NHS will transfer surgical services from these centres into the 7 surgical centres designated to lead the networks by 2014. More information is available here for parents of children with congenital heart disease who accessed surgical services at these centres.
The NHS Specialised Services website has links to downloadable information leaflets for parents who attend each of the hospitals that will eventually cese to perform surgery.