Congenital heart disease comprises a spectrum of structural heart problems that are present at birth. These can range from very simple defects that may close spontaneously during childhood to very complex single ventricle anatomies.There has been remarkable advances in paediatric cardiac surgical techniques, interventional procedures and specialist care over the years. This has resulted in more children surviving into adulthood with congenital heart disease than ever before. The prevalence of congenital heart disease at birth is thought to be around 9 per 1000 (NHS England 2015). The number of adults with congenital heart disease is now thought to outnumber children by as much as 2:1 (Ávila, Mercier et al. 2014). The prevalence of ACHD has increased by more than 50% between 2000 and 2010 (Marelli, Ionescu-Ittu et al. 2014).
The British Adult Congenital Cardiac Nurse Association was founded in 2007 at the Symposium for Adult Congenital Heart Disease hosted by The Royal Brompton Hospital and held at The Royal College of Surgeons. There were 8 adult congenital heart disease specialist nurses around the country at that time. Since then this group of nurses have been meeting bi-annually with meetings being arranged and hosted by individual ACHD centres. As the number of nurses grew with more specialist nurse appointments throughout the country, formal roles of President, Vice President and secretary were decided upon in 2008. In 2022 the group now has > 80 nurses.
-To provide a forum whereby nurses with an interest in adult congenital heart disease can communicate and network to promote high quality care for patients
-To promote the professional development of ACHD nursing, including the definition of roles and competencies, standard setting, and the acquisition of appropriate knowledge and skills for competent specialist practice.
-To represent the interests of ACHD nurses at a national and international level
-To promote the sharing of knowledge across the country and promote standardisation of practice
-To promote the nursing contribution to research in the field of ACHD nursing
-To encourage close working relationships with associated organisations, both nationally and internationally