National Congenital Heart Disease Audit, 2021 summary report

Reports | Published: 14 Oct 2021

The National Congenital Heart Disease Audit (NCHDA), which is part of the National Cardiac Audit Programme, has published its latest summary report. Based on data from the three- year period from April 2017 to March 2020, this report aims to improve the quality of care received by patients in the UK and Republic of Ireland (from hospital admission through to discharge) and ensure that good practice standards are met.

There were 12,393 congenital heart procedures reported in 2019/20, with 8,286 (67%) in children under 16 years of age. The report also found that, despite this being one of the most complex areas of surgery, the UK and Republic of Ireland continue to have excellent outcomes with high survival and low mortality rates. Other key findings include:

  • A 66% increase in electrophysiology and pacemaker/ICD implant treatments in adults with congenital heart disease over five years
  • In relation to surgical outcomes in adults, there were approximately 6% fewer deaths than predicted by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons–European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery (STAT) mortality model, and
  • Low complication rates after paediatric cardiac surgical procedures were recorded: 2.4% given life support; 1.2% given an unplanned pacemaker; 3.5% given renal replacement therapy; and 3.5% with prolonged pleural drainage.

However, while prenatal diagnosis for all infants requiring a procedure in the first year of life remained at 51%, the audit did find variation between centres nationally. As such, a recommendation was made to address this with reviews of staffing, equipment and training.

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National Congenital Heart Disease Audit, 2021 summary report