Here at the LGI we take our responsibilities to your child very seriously. We continually monitor the performance of the unit in different ways, and take early action if we notice any changes which may indicate a problem.
Every week we discuss how best to manage patients in a multi-disciplinary team meeting which involves all of the cardiologists and surgeons, alongside the nurses, echo staff and other individuals who are important in the care your child receives. In particular, we review each of the cases who are due to have surgery over the following week to ensure that all concerned are fully aware of the details of each case, including any changes which may have occurred since the patient was initially listed.
Once a month we have a Clinical Governance and Audit meeting. In this meeting the whole team come together to discuss, in detail, any cases where complications that have occurred. We aim to learn as much as we can from these events so that we can continually make improvements in the quality of the care we provide. We regularly audit areas of our practice, for instance wound infections, post-operative complications, and hospital acquired infections to ensure that any significant increase in the rate of these is dealt with promptly. In these monthly meetings we also review the surgical mortality (death rates) over the preceding 12 months, in comparison with the national standard.
The Trust management also monitor performance of the Congenital Heart Disease department through analysis of national statistics which are generated for all hospitals.
In addition, Leeds General Infirmary, along with all centres performing surgical or interventional procedures in patients with congenital heart disease submit data regarding all procedures to a national database. This database is hosted by NICOR (National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research), and analysed data can be accessed by the public at www.nicor.org.uk. The data is used to monitor unit activity and help the NHS plan how to improve your care. The website allows you as a parent to examine the numbers of procedures performed, and the 30 day and 12 month outcomes for each centre and for each specific procedure. You may find this data useful, particularly if your child is waiting for surgery or an interventional procedure. If you have any questions about how to interpret the data on the national database, please don’t hesitate to contact the specialist nursing team who will be able to help you through it.
A really useful website to look at data from all cardiac units can be found at https://childrensheartsurgery.info/ The site helps people make sense of published survival data about children’s heart surgery in the UK and Ireland.
The website will help you:
• understand how the NHS monitors children’s heart surgery
• explore what survival rates can and can’t tell you
• explore published data for hospitals in the UK and Ireland
Finally, the Trust submits ‘dashboard’ data on a quarterly basis to the commissioners of the service. This data include various performance measures, such as hospital acquired infections, rates of cancellation of operations and the results of patient surveys. This allows any weaknesses in the service to be spotted early and acted upon.
For more information, or any advice, please contact the Paediatric Nurse Specialists at Leeds General Infirmary on 0113 3925467.