The new Congenital Heart Disease review: 10th update

Since the publication of this blog John Holden has left NHS England.

Not a big blog this week, it’s half term so I’m off for a few days and just wanted to give you a quick update on what’s happening.

Your feedback

There is no defining theme in the recent comments we’ve received on the blog and elsewhere.  You have given us some really helpful views on the scope of the review, and you have asked questions about aspects of the process which are dealt with below.  And finally you’ve reminded us (in classical French, and in more direct language!) that if we don’t listen to people and learn from experience, then we can’t expect to get things right.

Thank you for all your feedback.  Please keep us on our toes, either by commenting on the blog or by emailing

Patients, families and their representatives

At their meeting on 17 October, Michael Wilson briefed the NHS England Specialised Services Patient & Public Steering Group on the new review, including an update on the development of the communications and engagement plan.


On 25 October I attended a meeting of the Joint Scrutiny Commission for Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland in Leicester.  Whilst in Leicester I also had a separate meeting with representatives of local Healthwatch.


On 4 November I will attend the North East Regional Health Scrutiny meeting (the chairs of local government Overview and Scrutiny Committees), in Gateshead.

Clinicians and their organisations

When the last blog was published the detailed paper on the scope of the review, for consideration by our Clinical Advisory Panel, was not available.  It was added to the blog later.  In case you missed it, the paper on scope is attached again here, and reflects about 40 sets of comments we received during the period 27 September to 11 October.  Minutes of the 15 October Panel will be published as soon as they are available.


Following discussion at the Panel on 15 October, the scope paper has now been rewritten to include a set of recommendations: you can read the revised paper here.  It will be considered by Task and Finish Group (see below).    


On 14 October Professor Deirdre Kelly chaired a meeting of a small working group overseeing the work on bringing together standards and addressing the issues raised by Sir Bruce Keogh. A note of that meeting will be published as soon as it is available.


At their meeting on 25 October, Michael Wilson briefed the CHD Clinical Reference Group on the new review, including an update on the scope of the review and the process for developing a service specification.

NHS England and other partners

Our Task and Finish Group met on 30 September, and the draft notes of that meeting are now available here.  The minutes will be formally agreed at the next meeting of the Group, which is on Tuesday 29 October: the agenda and papers for the meeting are here.  These papers include – at item 9 – the revised paper on scope (which I also attached separately above for ease of reference).  We are asking the Task and Finish Group to make a decision on the scope of the new CHD review, based on these recommendations.


The first meeting of our Programme Board was on 21 October – the papers for that meeting are here.  Minutes will be published as soon as they are available.


MPs and peers (members of the House of Lords) ask questions of health ministers, and the answer (or the transcript when there is a debate) is published in Hansard.  See here for questions relating to the new CHD review which have been answered recently.

John Holden was previously Director of Policy, Partnerships and Innovation, since the publication of these blogs he has left NHS England.

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