About the review

The Independent Review of children’s cardiac services in Bristol was triggered by the concerns of a number of families whose children have died at the hospital and the terms of reference have been drawn up following discussions with them. The Review is led by Eleanor Grey QC, an independent barrister and former Counsel to the Bristol Royal Infirmary Public Inquiry. Sir Ian Kennedy, the former chairman of the Bristol public inquiry, is consultant advisor. Biographies of the Review team are available here.

NHS England has published terms of reference for the review, which are available here.

The Review's information protocol with University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust is available here (PDF 350kb).

How is the Review being carried out?

It is important that the Review is carried out with all due speed, but we are also determined to make sure it is thorough. With this in mind, the Review has the following stages:

  1. Public call for information:  Anyone who thinks they have information which may be of use to the Review is invited to submit information to the Review team. You can find out how to do this here.  The information gathering process is ongoing and it is not too late to contact us.
  2. Gathering written information:  In addition to submitted information, the Review team is collecting evidence which may be relevant to the Review.  For example, it is obtaining documents from the Trust and national organisations.
  3. Interviews:  In some cases, it is useful for the Review team to speak to families, staff or other people who have submitted information.  Sometimes this can be done by telephone.   In other instances when discussions need more time, people who are taking part in the Review are invited to meet one or more members of the Review team.   The Review either produces a written account or a transcript of the meeting, which is checked and agreed following the meeting.
  4. Expert advice:  In some cases the Review team needs to draw on advice from independent medical experts who offer specialist advice on the clinical aspects of the Review.  These experts are appointed based on their expertise. They are independent of Bristol Children’s Hospital.  Experts on quality, safety and governance in the NHS, or any other area, will also be consulted as needed.
  5. Analysing the evidence:  Once all of the evidence has been gathered, the Review’s evidence team, led by the Chair and supported by the independent experts, will review all of it and begin to draw overall conclusions relating to the Terms of Reference of the Review.
  6. Writing the report:  Using this analysis and the advice received from experts, the Chair of the Review, Eleanor Grey QC, will draft a final report setting out the Review’s findings and recommendations.  The report will be submitted to the Medical Director of NHS England, in line with the Review’s terms of reference.

How will the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust respond to the recommendations of the Review?

The Trust has set up a specific page on its website to publish its responses to reports and findings relating to the children’s hospital. We expect the Trust's response to the Bristol Review to be published on their website here.