The new Congenital Heart Disease review: 41st update

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

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Welcome back!  One or two of you said you missed the blog during the restricted election period so – by “massive public demand” – it’s back.  We have been continuing the work of the review, finalising the proposed standards, discussing with providers how the standards could be met, and working ever more closely with our specialised commissioning colleagues in NHS England. Our shorthand for this is the ’long-handshake’…. making sure that there is an effective handover between this review, which is obviously focused on CHD, and NHS England’s much broader programme of commissioning specialised services.  In this way we can help ensure that the outcomes of the review can be delivered, starting from April 2016. The internal process to assure the review’s work to date has also begun.

Patients, families and their representatives

A date for the diary. We plan to hold a further meeting of the Joint Engagement & Advisory Meeting in London, on Monday 13 July 2015 to enable all of the engagement group members (patients, clinicians and hospital management) to get the very latest update on the review’s work as we prepare for this to be considered by the main meeting of NHS England’s Board, in public, on 23 July.

Clinicians and their organisations

There was a joint meeting of our Standards Group, and the CHD Clinical Reference Group (JSCRG) on 21 May, to review the standards and service specifications in light of the public consultation. They considered the views expressed in consultation, and recommended amendments. These were considered by the Clinical Advisory Panel (CAP) on 4 June.  The JSCRG’s proposed changes can be seen in the annotated version of the standards received by CAP. This and the other papers from the 4 June meeting are available here.

The provider leaders’ engagement and advisory group has set up a sub-group, under the chairmanship of Chris Hopson, to understand how provider organisations can work together to deliver the standards. The sub-group includes both managers and clinicians. NHS England is supporting the group’s work. We will bring you more news about this next time.

NHS England and other partners

The Board Task & Finish Group met on 8 June. It received an update on the way in which NHS England was responding to the consultation.  This and the other papers from the meeting are available here.


Our Programme Board also met on 8 June. The papers – almost identical to the Board Task & Finish Group – from that are available here. Previous meeting notes for the Programme Board and the Board Task and Finish Group can be located by clicking on the group name.


The proposed standards and specifications are now undergoing an assurance process, similar to the one we went through for the consultation documentation, prior to consideration by the board when it receives the review’s final report on 23 July. The Women’s and Children’s Programme of Care Board, the first step in this process, met on 26 May.

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