Why it’s so good to talk

I want to use this blog to update you about the progress we are making in implementation of the nationally agreed standards for Congenital Heart Disease services, which were approved by our Board in 2015.

As you know, we are currently preparing for public consultation on our proposals about how CHD services might be configured in the future, in order to implement the standards across the country.

Since announcing our proposals in July, our regional and central teams have been working with providers to pin down exactly what is left to do to enable those who are almost there in meeting the standards, to achieve full compliance.

We have also been talking to those trusts which – on the evidence they have presented to us so far – look like they will be unable to meet the standards in full, within the required timescales as set out in the standards. These discussions, as you might imagine, are quite complex and involve a significant amount of back and forth between ourselves and the trusts in terms of information sharing.

It is really important that we give these discussions enough time to run their course, as some of the information received already during this pre-consultation period has the potential to alter the proposals which we will put forward for public consultation.

Given where we are in talking to a number of CHD providers, we have decided to enable talks to continue for a slightly longer period of time and will, therefore, launch public consultation in the New Year, and not before Christmas, as originally intended.

This will allow time for further discussions to take place, and will enable some of the providers to further refine and develop their plans for future service delivery – and for us to continue our pre-consultation engagement with patients, the public, clinicians, and other stakeholders

I will let you know via this blog once we have a definite date for consultation launch.

I will also give you more detail about some of the events that will be taking place during consultation. We are currently planning a mix of face-to-face and digital events, including webinars and Twitter chats, for those who are unable to travel to meetings, as well as some specific events for groups we think would be particularly affected by our proposals.

Image of Will Huxter

Will Huxter is Regional Director of Specialised Commissioning (London) at NHS England and currently chair of the NHS England Gender Task & Finish Group.

Prior to joining NHS England in June 2014, Will worked in a range of commissioning roles within the NHS, and for five years at an NHS Trust.

He has also spent eight years working in the voluntary sector.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Mike Weavers says:

    Will – when can we expect to see the consultation? Patients and their parents are affected by the uncertainty, as are staff. We initially expected it last year, then were told “in the new year” and now, approaching mid-February there’s still no sign.

    Also, your blog is entitled “Why it’s so good to talk” yet it seems to be a monologue rather than a conversation. It would be good if all comments were published, and if you responded to questions asked. That way it would feel somewhat more like a conversation, and less like token “engagement”.

  2. ian appleby says:

    Why has no-one at NHS England got the good grace to actually admit that the CHD review is about closing hospitals – nothing whatsoever to do with “the patient experience”. The Royal Brompton is the largest centre with unrivalled research and hundreds of years of consultant experience which you aim to sacrifice because GOSH says all paeds should be done in a paediatric hospital and because you want the Kensington real estate.
    Your plan for the 420 staff who may lose their jobs is too simply tell them to look around for another job!! People are what makes the NHS – that is clinical people – the ones who have to take responsibility, to care, to tell bad news – none of which you will ever get your hands dirty with.

  3. Mike Weavers says:

    Will, does the term “groups we think would be particularly affected by our proposals” include the parents of CHD patients? Grateful if you could confirm.

  4. Kassander says:

    “Why it’s so good to talk”
    Oops! That was a BT advert just after it was PRIVATIZED. Is this insider info Sir?
    “approved by our Board in 2015”
    And just whose Board is that? We see none of our Chaps @ the table – the ones elected by the owners of Our=NHS YES, the P&P
    “As you know, we are currently preparing for public consultation on our proposals”
    Actually, I didn’t ‘know’ ‘sides which these consultations never get down to my level. They’re hijacked by YES-ers drafted in @ £150/day by NHSE from the ranks of the self-appointed and accredited Patient Leaders, along with Not Our Reps (NORs) from the bloated V&C sector. No Room for an In @ your Table for real P&P reps?
    “public consultation in the New Year”
    Where when etc ….? What form?
    PLEASE not another of those faux ones run by Ms A Singh – Dir PPPI – over the future of NHSE’s assassinated Online Voice of the P&P = Citizen-Gather
    “No done deals” she kept saying – except for the secret ones sent to YOUR Board without P&P seeing them

  5. Chris Reid says:

    In Lancashire and Cumbria the NHS is closing specialist heart units in Blackpool and Manchester. The services are being relocated to John Moores at Liverpool. If you can explain why these fantastic hospitals will not only lose their services they will also lose many experienced staff who can not be replaced anytime soon. May I suggest that NHS England fund these hospitals instead of deliberately running them down. People are waking up to the deliberate lies being peddled by NHS England as it propels the NHS towards privatisation. Please don’t insult our intelligence with a patronising consultation process. Please release information more freely without fighting every FOIR that is denied.

  6. S Stubley says:

    Glenfield hospital has a excellent reputation with brilliant outcomes. The location of Glenfield hospital is in the heart of the midlands close to excellent motorways making it accessible to many. Making it easier for visits less strain and stress on the families enabling them to support their loved ones giving them the support, strength necessary for a full recovery. please invest and build on the excellent skills and outcomes implemented by the consistent and dedicated staff. Enable them to mend these tiny hearts with great facillaties and new parent rooms so they can be at hand to love their little ones enabling a speedy recovery.The outstanding service and the short commute decrease the anxiety to families and heart patience goal achieved “applause” have mercy on them now I’m a believer humbling myself for a positive outcome.