UK's leading children's heart charity welcomes Court's decision over Judicial Review Appeal

For immediate release

 

The Children’s Heart Federation, the UKs largest children’s heart charity, welcomes today’s decision by the three Court of Appeal judges who found the JCPCT’s process for public consultation in respect of the review of paediatric cardiac services to be fair, lawful and proper.

”In the light of today’s judgement we urge the JPCT to make a speedy decision regarding which of the units will continue to offer surgery” says Anne Keatley-Clarke , Chief Executive of the Children’s Heart Federation ” Because of the uncertainty many trusts have stopped investing in paediatric services which has resulted in children having their life-saving operations cancelled at the last minute ”

Although this may, initially, appear to be a spat between the London Hospitals, CHF is concerned about the resources expended by one part of the NHS taking legal action against another part. CHF feels that the money would be much better used in investing in patient care, and urges any other organisation that is considering taking legal action to think again.

CHF respects the commitment of all the staff concerned with the care of heart children and are very aware of the loyalty felt by parents to the staff who care for their children. ”However” explains AKC ”it is important that we don’t loose sight of the fact that this is a national review and that we need to take account of the national picture. It simply isn’t fair that sick children are expected to travel to London for treatment when, with the restructuring of the service, they could be treated closer to home.”

“CHF welcomes the outcome of the appeal today. We are however particularly concerned about the level of costs involved in the Judicial Review and subsequent Appeal with the Royal Brompton Hospital having to pay back several hundred thousand pounds – public money which we’d have much rather have seen invested in children’s heart services”

CHF, aware of the widespread support for the standards of care developed as part of the Safe and Sustainable review, urges all concerned with the care of cardiac children to pull together and implement the necessary changes to the paediatric cardiac care services as soon as possible.

ENDS

Media enquiries to: Danny Beales Mobile: 07791 254 187 Email: dannyb@chfed.org.uk Office: 020 7422 0630

Notes to editors:

  1. The Children’s Heart Federation (CHF) is the UK’s leading children’s heart charity and an umbrella organisation for 21 member groups which support heart children and their families. CHF supports families through its information service, small grants programme, peer support events and provision of equipment. The charity also lobbies for changes to the health, social care and education systems for the benefit of heart families (seewww.chfed.org.uk).
  2. The Safe and Sustainable review of children’s congenital heart services in England began in 2008 and recommended a new set of national quality standards. An expert independent panel carried out an assessment of the quality of existing centres. The Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) conducted a national consultation on proposed options for reconfiguring services. More information about Safe and Sustainable is available athttp://www.specialisedservices.nhs.uk/safe_sustainable/childrens-congenital-cardiac-services
  3. We can arrange interviews with parents of heart children and Anne Keatley-Clarke, Chief Executive of Children’s Heart Federation.