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Congenital heart disease services for region to be centred in Liverpool


NHS England today announced that all patients who require surgery for congenital heart disease (CHD) including those with complex and life threatening conditions in the North West of England, North Wales and the Isle of Man will be treated in Liverpool.

 

A partnership of four Liverpool hospitals including Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; The Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will provide this specialist service ensuring a high quality service and a single and seamless pathway for patients of all ages with CHD.RLH 039001.JPG
 

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was commissioned to provide a Level 1 service for paediatric patients with Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, supported by The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust, being commissioned to provide Level 1 service for adult patients.

 

Teams from the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals will provide services for emergency cases and will support the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital in providing Level 1 services to patients with congenital heart disease. In addition the two trusts will jointly provide outpatient services and manage care for patients who require urgent admissions.

 

The Royal Liverpool University Hospital and Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will provide multi-disciplinary care for pregnant women with congenital heart disease across the North West & North Wales. Liverpool Women’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will continue to provide regional diagnosis and early neonatal care to babies with congenital heart disease and work in collaboration with Alder Hey to deliver the best care.


Level 1 service centres will provide the most highly specialised diagnostics and care including all surgery and most interventional cardiology.

Louise Shepherd, Chief Executive of Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is fantastic news for patients and a ringing endorsement for the superb partnership developed between all four Liverpool hospitals over the last three years and builds on the outstanding children's service developed and delivered by Alder Hey over the last half century.  This decision now gives us the ability to develop a seamless pathway for patients of all ages and drive forward research and innovation needed to keep us at the leading edge of international clinical practice”


Jane Tomkinson, Chief Executive at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital, said: “This is great news for patients across the North West, North Wales and the Isle of Man and we are pleased to have been recognised as a centre of excellence.

 

“We are delighted to be working with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals and Liverpool Women’s Hospital to ensure that patients across the region with congenital heart disease benefit from the highest standards of care and the delivery of safe and consistent services. We are confident that our long-held reputation for outstanding patient and family experience will enable us to deliver better outcomes for patients and significantly improve their quality of life into the future.”

 

Devender Roberts, Maternity Clinical Director at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, comments: “Key provider partners have come together to work in collaboration to deliver a comprehensive service for pregnant women and babies with congenital heart disease. Liverpool Women’s already provides an excellence regional service which will now extend its range to cover the whole of the North West and North Wales.”

 

Dr Peter Williams, medical director at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “This is great news for Liverpool and it highlights the commitment of clinical teams at each of the four hospitals to working together to provide an excellent standard of care for patients with congenital heart disease.”

 

In 2015 NHS England published new commissioning standards for CHD services following extensive consultation with patients and their families, clinicians and other experts. Since then, hospital trusts providing CHD services have been asked to assess themselves against the standards, which came into effect from April 2016, and report back on their plans to meet them within the set time frames.
 

As a result of these assessments, and following further verification with providers, NHS England intends – subject to necessary engagement and service change process in relation to this assessment - to take the action implement these changes.

 

CHD affects up to 9 in every 1,000 babies born in the UK, with differing types of CHD and levels of severity. Some of the more common CHDs include:


  • septal defects, commonly referred to as a "hole in the heart";
  • coarctation (or narrowing) of the aorta,
  • pulmonary valve stenosis, where the valve controlling blood flow to the lungs is narrower than normal, and;
  • transposition of the great arteries, where the pulmonary and aortic valves and the arteries they're connected to have swapped positions.