COVID-19: Congenital cardiac services

19 July 2021

Update: We understand you may be concerned about the ongoing Covid-19 situation and attendance of clinic appointments. Please see below for the current situation when attending clinics at hospitals in the Thames Valley and Wessex Network.

Click on the boxes below to read more about these services. 

20th July 2021 Update: BCCA Statement on COVID-19 Vaccination in Children

The JCVI is advising that children at increased risk of serious COVID-19 disease are offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. That includes children aged 12 to 15 with severe neurodisabilities, Down’s syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities.

The JCVI also recommends that children and young people aged 12 to 17 who live with an immunosuppressed person should be offered the vaccine. 

Currently, the JCVI is not recommending vaccination of children with congenital heart disease aged 15 years or younger in the absence of the additional risk factors outlined above. These recommendations will remain under review as more data becomes available.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued new paediatric guidance on COVID-19 vaccination.


18th January 2021 Update: COVID-19: British Congenital Cardiac Association (BCCA) guidance for immunisation (18 January 2021)

Q. Is the COVID vaccine indicated for patients with congenital heart disease?

The BCCA outlines guidance for immunisation in the context of congenital heart disease

Across the Network the majority of children’s cardiac clinics are taking place face to face. However a few patients may receive a telephone clinic with their Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist if it is felt a face to face appointment is not necessary.

Only one parent or carer is permitted to accompany each child for their appointment or blood test (unless there are exceptional circumstances or this appointment is to discuss your child’s surgery with the Consultant Cardiac Surgeon). This is because our waiting room capacity has been reduced to maintain social distancing measures and to minimise the number of adults coming through the department.

We ask that you arrive just before your appointment time to minimise the amount of people in our waiting rooms.

You will see all members of staff continue to wear a mask and you and your child will be given a mask on entry to the hospital. However if your child will not tolerate wearing a mask please do not worry.

If you have any concerns about your clinic appointment, please contact the Children’s Cardiac Nurse Specialist team at Southampton on 023 8120 4659 or at Oxford on 01865 234985 or alternatively speak to your consultant’s secretary.

Use the links below for further information:

During the current coronavirus outbreak, adult patients should attend their clinic appointment on their own unless mobility, carer or mental health support is required.

Your consultant will decide the timing of your next appointment and whether you require a telephone call, video clinic appointment or a face to face clinic appointment. We will contact you to confirm any changes. This may result in you being seen later than planned. If you have any concerns about your rescheduled appointment date, please contact the ACHD nurse specialist team at Southampton on 023 8120 4739 or at Oxford on 01865 740412 or alternatively speak to your consultant’s secretary.

For further information for patients attending the hospital please use the links below.

Covid-19: Congenital cardiac services across the Thames Valley and Wessex Congenital Heart Disease Network continue to provide an urgent and emergency cardiology and surgical service.

If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, do not come to our hospitals. Stay at home and follow the national advice.

If you have any concerns about you or your child’s health or wellbeing, you should seek appropriate medical advice- care if available in our emergency department.

You can also use the following guidance:

Each consultant is triaging their outpatient clinics so if you have received a clinic appointment and haven’t been contacted to cancel your appointment, please do attend.

Where possible we will provide virtual or telephone clinics.

If you have an appointment and have not heard from us, you should attend as planned. If you are self-isolating, please contact our service.