Local Service Provision

Depending on the severity of the condition of the baby condition the baby may be cared for in the local hospital or transferred to a specialist centre (Manchester or Liverpool) if the baby requires urgent intervention or surgery then the infant will be transferred to Alder Hey Childrens Hospital. If a baby requires ITU care but not immediate surgery or intervention then the baby maybe transferred to Manchester Childrens Hospital or Alder hey Children’s Hospital.

If the baby or child isn’t diagnosed before leaving hospital after birth but becomes symptomatic at home the parent may take the child to the GP, local Hospital or to one of the specialist Hospitals such as Alder hey or Manchester Childrens A&E.

The GP has limited diagnostic abilities and will either refer as an emergency or non-emergency to either a local hospital or specialist, this will be dependent on the child’s condition at the time of examination.

Most local hospitals (see HOSPITALS section) have something called a PEC. A Paediatrician with an interest in Cardiology. These Paediatrician’s maybe be general paediatricians or neonatologists but they all have an interest, training and expertise in cardiology. These PECs run clinics in local hospitals where they can use a diagnostic tool called an echocardiogram to examine the heart for a congenital heart conditions. Additionally a number of local hospitals have a visiting cardiologist from one of the 2 specialist centres that do clinics with the PECs, perform echocardiograms and review patients. If referred to a local hospital one or both of these professionals may see and plan a child’s care.

If referred to a local hospital urgently then he child will be seen in the A&E department and reviewed by the on duty medical staff. Appropriate diagnostic tools will be used and advice sought from either the PEC (if available) or from one of the specialist centre). An appropriate care plan will then be tailored to the patient.

If a patient presents at a specialist centre then the A&E staff will examine and diagnose and if appropriate seek advice from the cardiologists on site. An appropriate treatment plan will then be decided upon.

The majority of paediatirc congenital heart surgery and interventions will occur in Alder hey Childrens Hospital for patients in the North West, North Wales and the Isle of Man.

Follow-up and routine care can be provided at the specialist centres or in local hospitals. Care can be provided by either or both the local PECs or visiting cardiologists. One of the main purposes of the congenital heart network is to ensure quality of care across hospitals with appropriate protocols and guidelines and excellent communication routes.

COVID-19 Advice for North West CHD Network: Advice for patients and families affected by congenital heart disease and children with other heart conditions pleaseclick here