The CCNA was originally called the Paediatric Cardiac Nurses Association (PCNA) and was formed in 1990 by a group of London based nurses; the aim being to provide a format for the exchange of information and ideas regarding the work and experience of the relatively small number of nurses involved in the care of children with heart disease.
Over the years there have been many changes within the congenital heart disease specialty that have influenced the remit of the group and the work of the executive committee. Membership of the committee has also changed and now represents the majority of children’s cardiac units in the UK and Southern Ireland. In the last 5 years we have opened up the association to other health care professionals working in congenital services to enhance networking, collaboration and interprofessional working.
Key events such as the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry in the late 1990’s and the subsequent Kennedy Report (DH, 2001); the Victoria Climbie Inquiry (DH, 2003) and the publication of the National Service Frameworks (DH, 2004) had a dramatic impact upon service delivery, professional practice and education throughout the NHS. We have also seen greater consultation and collaboration amongst all professional groups and the children, young people and their families.
Following discussions at the Annual General Meeting in April 2007 a notion was passed to change the name of the PCNA in line with changes occurring elsewhere in the speciality and in November, 2007, the association re-launched as the ‘Congenital Cardiac Nurses Association’ in order to widen the remit to include health care professionals caring for the Adult Congenital Heart population. With this re-launch came a new logo and this website.
The Executive Committee members have a business meeting at least 4 times per annum; these meetings also offer an opportunity for the CCNA to work on national issues affecting children’s cardiac nurses, such as updating the “Children and young people’s cardiac nursing: RCN guidance on roles, career pathways and competence development” (RCN, 2014)
We try to issue a bi-monthly newsletter to members via email, the aim being to update members on the work that the executive committee have been undertaking; to share local, national and international news and stories and to advertise upcoming events and conferences. If you have anything that you would like to share with other CCNA members please do contact our newsletter editor Jenny Somer (see Members page for contact details).
Historically there were two conferences or symposiums per year, one in the spring (alongside Cardiology in the Young) and the second in the autumn (alongside the BCCA) however our presence is now mainly linked to the BCCA meetings in November. In 2016 and 2017 we were able to hold our own conference at University of Worcester. In June 2021 we went online again and successfully delivered our conference to an international audience. We have recently held a CCNA day alongside the BCCA conference at the ICC Birmingham 7th/8th Novemebr 2022.
Over the last 15 years CCNA have been involved in the Safe and Sustainable (S&S) Children’s Heart Surgery programme and subsequent NHS England Review, since 2006 following a national workshop attended by representatives from professional and patient groups, which concluded that the current configuration of children’s heart surgery services in England was not sustainable (Cook, 2010; National Specialised Commissioning Group (NSCG), 2009: 5). The work of the S&S Steering Group additionally considered earlier recommendations made by the Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Services Review (Department of Health (DH), 2003) following the Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry (Kennedy, 2001).
In 2011 the CCNA in association with the Royal College of Nursing published the first edition of “Children and young people’s cardiac nursing: RCN guidance on roles, career pathways and competence development” to enhance and standardise the clinical care received by children and young people with congenital heart disease. This document was updated in 2014 to ensure that the original nursing standards developed in 2011 remained fit for purpose. Additionally, it included the future vision for children and young people’s (CYP) cardiac nursing career pathways and a competency framework.
The third edition was published in June 2021 and is available through the dedicated page on this website.
This publication sits alongside “Adult congenital heart disease nursing: RCN guidance on roles, career pathways and competence development (Griffiths et al. 2015)” and can be found at the following link:
In 2016, NHS England published an updated ‘Congenital Heart Disease Standards & Specifications’ document based primarily on the final report of the ‘New Congenital Heart Disease Review’ (NHS England 2015). We must all be striving to meet these standards over the course of the next few years, the CCNA are committed to advancing practice and ensuring these standards are implemented within our centres.
Cook K (2010) Safe and sustainable paediatric cardiac surgical services, British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 5 (7), 350-352
Department of Health (2003) Report of the Paediatric and Congenital Cardiac Services Review. DH, London
Gaskin, K. (Editor) et al (2014) Children’s and young people’s cardiac nursing: RCN guidance on roles, career pathways and competence development. Second Edition. London. RCN, available at: http://www.rcn.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/594658/004_121_web.pdf, accessed 03/10/14
Gaskin K (2012) Children’s Congenital Cardiac Services, Journal of Paramedic Practice, Vol. 4 Issue 3, p129
Gaskin, K. (Editor) et al (2014) Children’s and young people’s cardiac nursing: RCN guidance on roles, career pathways and competence development. London. RCN
Griffiths, L. et al (2015) Adult congenital heart disease nursing: RCN guidance on roles, career pathways and competence development. London, RCN.
Kennedy I (2001) The Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry. DH, London
National Specialised Commissioning Group (2009) Safe and Sustainable Paediatric Cardiac Surgery Services. NSCG, London
National Specialised Commissioning Group (2010) Children’s Heart Surgery. The Need for Change. NSCG, London
NHS England (2013) New review of congenital heart services, available at: http://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/180713-item13.pdf, accessed 03/10/14
NHS England (2015) New Congenital Heart Disease Review: Final Report. London, NHS England. Available from: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Item-4-CHD-Report.pdf
NHS England (2016) Congenital Heart Disease Standards & Specifications. London, NHS England. Available from: https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2016/03/chd-spec-standards-2016.pdf