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Changes to Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) services for Manchester patients

trust hqNHS England has announced changes to the way treatment is provided for patients with congenital heart disease, following a national review.  The changes proposed would see surgery for adults with congenital heart disease being treated in Liverpool rather than in Manchester.  Implementing any changes will require discussions between Central Manchester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust ,  Alder Hey Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and may need public consultation.

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) has provided a successful specialist congenital heart disease surgical service to patients from across the North West for over two decades.  Recent external quality assessments by the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes (NICOR) show that our clinical outcomes are excellent and feedback from our patients also demonstrates that this is much valued and trusted service.

We have worked hard to develop proposals to improve the way in which care is organised in the North West and are disappointed by the decision NHS England has made, but are clear that the care and wellbeing of our patients is paramount.  To that end we are seeking urgent clarification from NHS England on the practical details of the transfer process and timescales, so that we can reassure our patients and staff and try to address their concerns.

Our priority will be to work closely with colleagues in both NHS England and Liverpool to make the transition as safe and smooth as possible for our patients and their families.

CMFT provides specialist ante-natal care for pregnant women with CHD and their babies - this service will remain in Manchester.  Babies born at Saint Mary's Hospital who require heart surgery are already transferred to Alder Hey Hospital for treatment.  Other cardiology services provided by the Trust are not affected by the changes.

The Trust's specialist CHD surgery team operates on around 90 adult patients a year, providing a safe, high quality service.  However, from April 2016 new national standards require hospitals treating CHD to have larger surgical teams with each surgeon carrying out an average of at least 125 CHD operations a year.  In order to meet these standards, CMFT had submitted plans to develop children's and adult CHD services and co-locate them on the central Manchester site, to ensure effective transition for patients and shared skills.