Bristol Children's Hospital Inquiry

An inquiry will be held into the deaths of children following heart surgery at Bristol Children's Hospital.

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NHS Trust admits it needs a cultural change

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Trust has admitted there needs to be a cultural change in the way its staff communicate with families and patients.

The Trust is responsible for Bristol Children's Hospital and St Michael's Hospital.

At a health scrutiny meeting with Bristol City and South Gloucestershire's councils, the Trust said it needs "to consider how to improve communication when there is so much to communicate."

The Trust told a scrutiny meeting that additional training for communication has already been brought in.

The meeting was also attended by families who say their children died following poor care at the Trust while being treated for serious heart conditions.


Hospital trust 'welcomes' heart death inquiry

The NHS Trust which runs the Bristol Children's hospital has responded to the news that an inquiry will be held into the deaths of children after heart surgery.

"University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust welcomes the Independent Review into children's cardiac services in Bristol. We hope that this review will restore trust and confidence in the service, which has learnt much from the experiences of these families."

– UH Bristol NHS Trust Spokesman

The inquiry follows a meeting in Bristol on Friday between Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS, and families of some of the children who died.

"Despite many positive developments in the service over the last two years, a small number of families continue to express concerns about the care provided to their children and the quality of the service today. We hope that this independent review will restore their confidence in the service by demonstrating that their concerns have been understood by the Trust, and importantly, acted upon."

– UH Bristol NHS Trust Spokesman
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Review over alleged neglect at children's hospital

An independent review is to be held into a hospital's paediatric cardiac unit following concern about its treatment of newborn babies and young children who died or suffered complications.

The review is over alleged neglect at Bristol children's hospital Credit: : Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England, confirmed the inquiry will take place at Bristol Children's Hospital, which is accused of a catalogue of neglect and mistreatment of babies and children with heart problems.

He said Sir Ian Kennedy, a lawyer who specialises in the law and ethics of healthcare, has agreed in principle to oversee the review.

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Lawyer to meet with families of children who died

The medical director of NHS England, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, said that an important meeting took place on Friday with the families of children who died at Bristol.

My deputy medical director Mike Bewick and I have listened with great care to their concerns about the care their children received.

I would like to thank them for the dignified and powerful way they have talked to us.

We collectively concluded that the most effective course of action might be to put in place an independent review of the care at the Trust's paediatric cardiac unit.

It was clear that, in the interests of everyone, such a review would need to be independent of the NHS. It must be led by the families involved. It must be their review.

– medical director of NHS England, Professor Sir Bruce Keogh

Sir Keogh said he had agreed in principle with lawyer Sir Ian Kennedy to take such a review forward should the families wish him to do.

He will now ask Sir Ian to meet the families and to work with them to see if they can come to the "scope and terms of reference that the families want".

Last year it emerged around 10 families were believed to be taking legal action against the trust, including seven whose children died following treatment at the hospital.

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