The review into children’s heart surgery at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust concluded today (28 October) with the publication of the final two reports, undertaken by an independent investigation agency Verita.
NHS England’s deputy medical director, Dr Mike Bewick, paid tribute to all those who have contributed to the process, which was begun following the voluntary, temporary suspension of surgery at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust in March 2013.
Dr Bewick said: “Patients should be reassured that this service has been rigorously scrutinised and has improved as a result. Patients and the public can have confidence that this is a well-run unit and is now in a position to go from strength to strength.
“Not only have we learned about service in Leeds we have learned lessons of relevance nationally. We are currently consulting on new standards for children’s heart surgery across the country and the review in Leeds has made a significant contribution.”
Dr Bewick added: “This thorough process would not have been possible without the full co-operation and participation of patients, families and clinicians. Reliving painful events or opening oneself up to public scrutiny is not easy. This review has been characterised by the willingness of individuals and organisations to do just that.
“Verita has made some positive recommendations which local oversight bodies will now consider with care and will also be considered as part of the national review.”
The review (this document is no longer available here but can be found on the National Archives website) was commissioned by NHS England on behalf of a regional quality surveillance group which also comprises the Care Quality Commission, NHS Trust Development Authority and Monitor. This has ensured in depth investigation of all aspects of the concerns raised through a variety of channels in early 2013.
An overarching report, independently produced by Verita and published today, bring together the learning and recommendations from all parts of the review. It makes 17 recommendations in the following five areas:
- Data submission and record keeping;
- Communications and complaints;
- Managing consultations on major reconfigurations;
- Restoring trust and confidence.