Network Governance

About Governance

Governance is the system that holds an NHS organisation to account. As the network aims to improve the quality of services and provide a continually high standard of care, its governance structure (below) is what monitors systems, improves patient safety and mitigates risk.

The Lifelong CHD Network has a management team that works with a wide range of stakeholders from across its geography. It is hosted by Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and funded by NHS England. It is governed by the Network Board, which has oversight of its work.

The network works closely with NHS England and other related Operational Delivery Networks (ODNs) in order to share best practice, knowledge and resources.

Network Board

The Network Board is a group of individuals who provide strategic oversight and hold the network to account to help it achieve its objectives. 

Board members have a range of backgrounds and provide complementary skills and experiences. This includes both NHS professionals and Patient and Public Voice (PPV) representatives, to make sure that the perspective of patients, families and carers is considered all the way up to Board level.  

Board members also come from a range of specialist and local hospitals across the network so that views shared are reflective of the whole network as opposed to any one partner organisation.  

The Network Board has a Terms of Reference (ToR), a document where each hospital that is a member of the network formally agrees to work together to accomplish its goals. The ToR provides full details of these goals, as well as the network’s structure, principles of working and the expectations it has of its members. 

Terms of Reference

In 2016, NHS England published the Congenital Heart Disease Standards and Specifications (image to have hyperlink to NHSE national standards), a document that details how care in specialist and local CHD centres should be delivered. This includes areas such as: staffing, facilities, training and education, research and audit and governance.  

The network understands that each centre will have different resources available to them to deliver these standards as well as competing priorities. The Network Management Team are therefore committed to visiting each centre on a bi-yearly basis, the purpose of these informal meetings being to: offer support, share best practice, identify risks & problem solve and get to know colleagues better.

Members of the Network Management Team should attend these meetings along with staff from the local network centre including the Clinical Director, ACHD Consultant Cardiologist or Paediatrician with an Expertise in Cardiology (PEC), Lead Nurse and General Manager (or equivalent).

Of course, the Network Management Team is available to support colleagues outside of these visits. Please feel free to get in touch via our Contact Us page if you need any help or guidance.