NHS England in listening mode

Acting Director of Specialised Commissioning, John Stewart, provides an important update on NHS England’s work on congenital heart disease.

Since taking on this role I have been closely involved in this work but, with Will Huxter’s recent move to a new role, I will now have more direct involvement and become NHS England’s lead director for the congenital heart disease review. Dr Vaughan Lewis, who is the medical director for Specialised Commissioning in our south regional team, will support me in providing clinical leadership to the programme, taking over as chair of the programme board and the national panel.

The consultation remained open during the election period but we had to stand down a number of events, which I am pleased to say have now all been rearranged. Most events do not require any booking, but where they do, details are given below:

  • 19 June, 2.00pm – 5.00pm: Bristol Patient, Public and Staff event, Education Centre, Bristol Royal Infirmary.
  • 22 June, 1.00pm – 3.00pm: Lincolnshire Patient, Public and Staff event, New Life Centre Sleaford – to register for this event please email
  • 24 June, 11.00am – 2.00pm: Royal Brompton Patient and Family event, Royal Brompton Hospital, to register for this event please email
  • 27 June, 6.30pm – 8.30pm: Newcastle Patient, Public and Staff event, Newcastle Civic Centre.
  • 27 June, 5.30pm: Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland Joint OSC, Leicester City Council.
  • 28 June, 6.30pm – 8.30pm: Middlesbrough Patient, Public and Staff event, St Mary’s Centre, Corporation Road, Middlesbrough.
  • 30 June, 1.30pm – 3.30pm: Nottingham Patient, Public and Staff event,The Wallace Room, The Education & Conference Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals, City Hospital Campus to register for this event please email
  • 1 July, 1.00pm – 4.00pm : Leicester Patient and Family event, Glenfield Hospital to register for this event please email
  • Date and time to be confirmed: Joint Yorkshire and the Humber OSC, Leeds City Council
  • 11 July, 6.30pm: Kensington and Chelsea OSC, Kensington Town Hall.

Details of all events and all the other consultation materials and the response form for the consultation can be found on our consultation platform.

With the consultation coming towards a close, it’s important that anyone who wants to contribute to the consultation does so in the coming weeks we want to hear your views and thoughts. When the NHS England board comes to make their decision, they will want to have a thorough understanding of why people hold the views they do, and to hear thoughts on how the proposals would affect people, and how services can be improved for all. So, the more detail you can give the better.

Consultation closes at 23.59 on the 17 July 2017. As this has been a very long consultation – 22 weeks in all – we will be strict in applying the rule that only responses received before that time will be included in our formal analysis.

John Stewart

John Stewart is the Acting Director of Specialised Commissioning at NHS England. Immediately prior to that he was Director of Clinical Policy and Strategy, working for Professor Sir Bruce Keogh. Before joining NHS England, John held various senior roles within the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office for over twelve years.


  1. Kassander says:

    Date and time to be confirmed : Joint Yorkshire and the Humber OSC, Leeds City Council

    I’m listening, and waiting – but we’re half way thru’ July and still nothing about this meeting on your “consultation platform”.

    By the way – do get whoever writes these articles for you to look up the meaning of the word “Confirm”. Misusing the word reflects badly on you, but much more importantly, on Our=NHS

  2. Kassander says:

    “NHS England in listening mode”

    Look at the list of Public & Patients who’ve written in reply to this article.
    Where are the replies from Mr Stewart?
    There aren’t any – that’s how much he’s listening to us.
    There’s ONE response from someone who signs themselves as:
    “NHS England”
    That could be anyone out of the approx 1 000 000 who work for NHS England.

    It’s OUR=NHS
    We want OUR=Voices heard & OUR=Questions answered by a real person who tells us who they are.

  3. Mrs Sarah Ashworth says:

    I have always supported the NHS, but following attending the meeting at The Royal Brompton, on 24th June, I was disgusted by the eye rolling, and heavenwards looks from the NHSEngland representative and the distinct feeling that all our efforts to fight for keeping the RBH OPEN, are already in vain! All because of one standard! Have a long hard think about the consequences! I am a very lucky grandmother to have been able to have a healthy little boy to brighten my life. I call him SuperTed!

  4. Jane Vallely says:

    Dear Mr. Stewart,
    I am really concerned about the closure of the Royal Brompton Hospital.
    Why fix something that is not broken?
    The only reason for this is? Could it be politics, money or simply standards produced to address events that happened in Bristol in the 1980’s Please do not close the Brompton my great nephew is alive today because of the Brompton. Are you really listening?

  5. Y Williams says:

    Your listening, well good there’s a first time for everything. I can’t believe that Will Huxter has bailed on this after being at the meetings having little or no productive comments was rude enough to smile at serious questions and then refuse to answer uncomfortable questions and now bails before the decision. Well good riddance.
    Well Mr Stewart you say your listening so here. Glenfield is a. Centre of excellence, it meets all off the standards except a numerical one with support and referrals this can be met. So therefore stop putting LIVES at RISK!!!! Glenfield is not broken. Nothing is broken here so STOP trying to fix it. LEAVE GLENFIELD open and SAVE LIVES it’s as simple as that. I will be the one with the placards and VERY LOUD voice at all your meetings. We don’t get fed up or bored of defending our amazing staff and state of the art services here. We’re proud of GLENFIELD and ECMO and so are other countries around the world, WHY aren’t you? SAVE IT

  6. Anonymous says:

    Seriously your listening well there is always a first time. Honestly I am truly disappointed and disgusted with Will Huxter no integrity laughed at meetings and now bails before the decision making. Well Mr Stewart this consultation has been seriously flawed from the start. Lives are being put at risk and you do need to listen to us all. Glenfield is a centre of excellence that delivers all of the standards except one a numerical one with support and referrals this could be met. Work with us and keep this only central Midlands children’s heart centre open. SAVE LIVES it really is that simple nothings broke so don’t try and fix it. Leave GLENFIELD OPEN

  7. Shirley Barnes says:

    Can I ask when the July 1st was arranged? I ran off a copy of the list of public meetings on 14th June and that meeing was NOT on there. We heard about it this morning giving us a week to let people know. You say you are listening but you are not talking and letting people know these meetings are taking place.How can this be a public consultation if the consultation paper is misleading, questions are slanted and it is online only? How can it be a public consultation if you arrange meetings at such short notice and at times like 1-3p.m on weekdays when those that work or have child care responsibilities, cannot attend. You can’t listen if there is no one talking to you because they can’t get there.One would think you don’t want the public to take part you are making it so difficult

    • NHS England says:

      Hi Shirley,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The 1st July patients and family day being held at Glenfield Hospital, was confirmed on the 14th July with the hospital Trust. We posted the information on our website and sent out a notification via the blog on July 16th.

      So far as has been possible we have taken advice from local colleagues on appropriate timing and location for each meeting. Across the consultation as a whole we have held meetings on different days and at different times with the aim of giving the best accessibility but we recognise that no one time or location will be suitable for everyone.

      Kind regards
      NHS England

  8. Kassander says:

    “NHS England in listening mode”
    Eighteen months ago WE, Patients & Public (P&P) had a flakey online Forum thru’ which we could voice our praise and reservations about Our=NHS.
    It was called: NHS England’s (NHS-E) Citizen-Gather.
    Around a year ago (May 2016 ) Ms Anu Singh, in conjunction with Ms Cummings, had this vital e-link assassinated.
    NHS-E’s Board in September 2016 was told by the “assassins” that a replacement for ‘Gather’ would be up and running, and providing a new service, within weeks.

    NINE months on and despite 10s of highly secret meetings of undisclosed representatives of P&P – chosen by Ms Cumminga & Ms Singh not the P&P – there’s Zero sign of this Lazarus of communication with and about Our NHS.
    The NHSE Board NED overseeing this tardy team is Lord Victor Adebowale CBE whose list of other directorships, president positions, etc is awesome.

    So excuse the doubt and up-sleeve laughing about your statement.

  9. Danielle says:

    Please don’t take Southampton away

  10. Ajay Desai says:

    “NHS England in listening mode” – I do hope the title really means what it says.

    It would be a catastrophic mistake to pursue the proposal of decommissioning Royal Brompton CHD services.

    On the one hand there is NO EVIDENCE to back the proposals. On the other hand all the strengths of RBH have been wilfully ignored. To make the matters worse – “standards have been carefully selected OR not selected” targeting Royal Brompton Hospital. It gets worse – there is severe BIAS in the implementation of standards.

    RBH patients have voiced their anger and expressed that they no longer trust NHSE CHD review process.

    It is time to LISTEN -reflect and rethink. It is time for sensible negotiations. NHSE shouldn’t be putting patients’ lives/care pathways in danger – we wont be sitting idle and watch it happening.

    Let this review NOT be Safe and Sustainable part 2 – the corrupt and concocted process that has divided clinicians, created animosity and severely damaged NHSE credibility.

  11. Sarah says:

    Dont take our CHD service away at Manchester you are putting lives at risk!!