Overview and Scrutiny

Children's Heart Surgery Consultation

Review Details

This review has concluded

NHS Specialised Services undertook a ‘Safe and Sustainable’ review of Children’s Congenital Cardiac Services in England at a national level, and put proposals for change out to public consultation in 2011. A panel was set up as a sub-committee of the Hampshire Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) to consider the suitability of the consultation process, and to scrutinise the proposals to inform the HOSC’s response to the public consultation. The HOSC heard evidence from stakeholders, and submitted a response in June 2011 (see documents tab).

A Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) was formed nationally to consider consultation responses and take a decision. The decision was delayed due to a Judicial Review challenge that was overturned on appeal. The HOSC has continued to monitor the situation and provide feedback to the national team during this time. The JCPCT took their decision on 4 July 2012. The decision included agreeing ‘Option B’ for the future configuration of surgical centres to provide Children’s Congenital Heart Surgery in future. This decision was reported to the 24 July 2012 meeting of the HOSC.

‘Option B’ is the option the HOSC supported, and means Southampton General Hospital is designated to continue providing Children’s Congenital Heart Surgery and lead the network for the South Central area. The HOSC has concluded that the outcome does not constitute a substantial change in services for the population of Hampshire, and is in the interests of the population affected.

Further information about the national review is available on the  NHS Children's Congenital Cardiac Services website.



Documents can be requested in alternative versions (such as large print, braille or audio) or in alternative languages by phoning 01962 845751 or emailing members.services@hants.gov.uk

Response to the consultation

Following consideration of the issues the panel, on behalf of the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, submitted the following response to the consultation. The panel supports 'option B' which would allow Southampton General Hospital to continue providing paediatric cardiac surgery services:

Following submission of this response, the Safe & Sustainable national team leading the consultation, have responded to the recommendations the HOSC made as follows:

Southampton University Hospital's Trust have also responded to the consultation and their views are published on their website:

A summary of all the responses received nationally to this consultation is now available from the NHS Specialised Services website

Key Lines of Inquiry

The panel members have identified key lines of inquiry to explore the issues involved:

Based on the issues identified, a number of questions have been identified that the panel have put to the Specialised Commissioning Group:

Summary of the proposals

The proposals being consulted upon for the future configuration of children's heart services are detailed in the 234 page consultation document and a 148 page pre-consultation business case (available from the specialised services consultation webpages). This summary of the proposals and how they were arrived at has been prepared to assist the panel looking at this consultation.


The Chairman of this panel wrote to the NHS Specialised Commissioning team laying out initial concerns regarding the consultation process, for example concerns regarding the complexity of the consultation document and response form. These concerns were also highlighted in a letter to the local press. The NHS Specialised Commissioning team responded indicating that comments made by email or letter would also be taken into account


Panel Members

Councillor A Buckley

Councillor P Dickens

Councillor L Fairhurst

Councillor P Mutton

Councillor P West (Chairman)

Cllr Dennis Wright (co-opted member)



Related Meetings

Panel meeting - 26 May 2011