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Reading: A Cross-jurisdictional Clinical Network; Getting to World-Class - Past, Present and Future


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A Cross-jurisdictional Clinical Network; Getting to World-Class - Past, Present and Future


Sharon Morrow ,

Children's Health Ireland Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, IE
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Catherine Bell

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, GB
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The All-Island Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) Network was established in 2015 to provide high quality and timely access to specialist cardiac services for all children and young people on the island of Ireland. It followed the cessation of children's cardiac surgery in Northern Ireland with children and families having to travel to Great Britain to access cardiac surgery and catheterisation services.

Since its inception, the CHD Network has been driving the implementation of evidence based, safe and effective cardiac care for children and young people across the island of Ireland.

Six years on the All-Island CHD Network can now make a genuine claim to being a world first in cross jurisdictional integrated patient care, with all new cardiac surgery being performed on the island and the CHD Network expanding beyond the two specialist centres to an additional five regional centres, bringing care as close to the child's home as appropriate. The cultural, political, legal and regulatory challenges in creating an all island network have proved daunting yet have been addressed with determination and vigour.

The journey in the development of the CHD Network is structured as stepping stones to a World Class service based on building capacity, capability and structures to support a robust service delivery model, all unpinned by a clear governance framework, overseen by the Department of Health in both jurisdictions. The governance framework includes active input into service design, delivery and evaluation from all stakeholders. Family and patient representatives are CHD Network Board members and have a dedicated Board Sub-committee. Throughout the endeavours of the CHD Network the care of the child and the family remain the North Star guiding and inspiring all involved.

This presentation aims to give an overview of the challenges faced, learnings and critical success factors during the first years of the CHD Network, since its establishment in 2015. In addition, an outline of how the CHD Network is functioning in the current healthcare environment post-Brexit, following a HSE cyberattack, and in the midst of a pandemic will also be given. And finally, following a look at where to next for the All-Island CHD Network, a general overview of the future of cross-jurisdictional health collaboration and the use of clinical networks as an enabling  model for service design, implementation and evaluation will be made.


How to Cite: Morrow S, Bell C. A Cross-jurisdictional Clinical Network; Getting to World-Class - Past, Present and Future. International Journal of Integrated Care. 2022;22(S3):471. DOI:
Published on 04 Nov 2022.


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