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NHS Specialist CHD Network Hospitals

There are now twice the number of adults with congenital heart disease than children and some years ago it was recognised there needed to be standards written to ensure the care for adults was properly organised. The NHS England service for Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) now comes under Specialist Commissioning with a comprehensive set of standards agreed by a large representative group of different types of expert ACHD clinicians, NHS England and most importantly patients.  Somerville Heart Foundation were represented on this group and took a full part in the writing of the standards.

NHS Wales co-opted the standards as written, and NHS Scotland had a group to consider the NHS England standards with the result the NHS Scotland standards very largely reflected those of NHS England.  Both the NHS England standards and the NHS Scotland standards can be viewed here:

Standards for ACHD

The Standards created 4 levels of hospitals offering ACHD specialist care.

  • Level 1 – Specialist Surgical Centre (providing all services)
  • Level 2 – Specialist Cardiology Centre (as Level 1 but not providing surgery)
  • Level 3 – Hospital with a ‘Cardiologist with interest”, to offer more local care
  • Outreach – clinics run by clinicians from a Level 1 or Level 2 Centre, to offer more local care
  • Scottish Standards

These hospitals were then organised into geographical networks with a Level 1 hospital in effect at the top of each network structure.

It is important for every adult with ACHD to be seen by a Specialist Adult Congenital Cardiologist from a Level 1 or Level 2 Centre at least once to ensure they receive a proper diagnosis and to set out the appropriate care plan for them.

If you are a medical professional and you wish to update or add your network / specialist centre or hospital, please get in touch with us.

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