Adult Standards Advisory Group
This is writing a set of standards for the NHS in England which more clearly defines the care which should be provided for adults with congenital heart disease. It has representatives of all the national medical professional bodies as well as those from the NHS and legal support to ensure the process will stand up to scrutiny. There are observers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who will undoubtedly use the work to ensure similar standards. It deals with both structure, hospital resources as well as the number and expertise of medical staff at every level. This is the most important move for GUCHs in years.
Clinical Reference Groups (CRGs) for Congenital Heart Disease
These groups are designed to enable the Specialist Services to be properly provided by helping the NHS to ensure the measures are in place to show proper implementation and ongoing level of standards of care and medical service provision. This includes agreeing various measures covering both clinical outcome and patient experience to show the standard being achieved and make continuous improvement a reality.
There is also of course an overriding level of influence and communication which The Somerville Foundation enjoys by being known by all the surgeons, cardiologists and nurses involved in the provision of care for GUCHs as well as many within the different levels of the Department of Health and NHS.
We are also involved on a combined national patient group run by the British Heart Foundation called the Cardiovascular Coalition (CVC) where a number of charities get together to advise and influence the Department of Health.
We are also very pleased to be one of 4 charities involved in putting forward views to the All Party Parliamentary Heart Group on the topic of congenital heart disease at meetings at the Palace of Westminster attended by Members of Parliament from both the Commons and Lords.