PERFORMANCE: The independent review into children’s heart surgery in Bristol has launched with a call for parents, carers and staff to come forward with evidence.

The review was ordered by NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh earlier this year in response to concerns from a number of parents whose children were treated at the unit run by University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust.

The review will focus on a four year period from March 2010 onwards and consider several aspect of the care environment such as staffing levels, communication with families, the care and compassion shown to them plus the culture of the trust.

It is being chaired by Eleanor Grey QC who was counsel to the previous Bristol Inquiry into children’s heart surgery more than a decade ago.

This recommended that children’s heart surgery be spread across fewer centres. The chair of the earlier inquiry, Sir Ian Kennedy, will act as an advisor.

Ms Grey told HSJ the review would “try and feed into” the national work on centralisation being led by NHS England but that the timetable would be “guided by the evidence they receive”.

She added: “A review like this should be as speedy as possible but also thorough. I would put the emphasis on thorough.”