Children’s Heart Federation statement about possible further legal action over Safe and Sustainable

The Children’s Heart Federation (CHF), theUK’s largest children’s heart charity, is disappointed that proposed legal action could further delay vital improvements to children’s heart services. Children and families have waited too long for change and a protracted legal battle could put children’s lives at risk.

We remain deeply concerned that children still do not have access to specialist staff round the clock. Larger surgical teams are needed in fewer larger centres so that more lives can be saved. CHF respects the loyalty felt by parents to the staff who care for their children, but improving the quality of the service must be the most important factor.

The proposed changes are the result of a national review which has widespread parental and professional support. We would remind parents that it is intended that all hospitals currently providing specialist cardiology services will continue to do so, and therefore many families will not experience an immediate change to the clinical care of their children.

Many parents across the country are wondering why the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund, which was set up to fund and support hospital equipment and research for the treatment of children with heart defects, has decided to put their resources towards legal fees rather than investing valuable funds in children’s care.

CHF remains committed to supporting the implementation of service improvements as soon as possible. We don’t expect this to be easy as all change is challenging, but we firmly believe this process will lead to excellent care for all children across the country.

We invite all parents to share their views with us so which we will feed them in to the implementation programme.

If you would like to share your views about implementation please email them to info@chfed.org.uk – (Subject: implementation)