Review of Nationally Funded Centres Paediatric Heart Transplant Program

Project Type - Acute Care, Health technology assessment


  • 2014


The Department of Health and Ageing appointed Health Outcomes International (HOI) in February 2013 to undertake a review of the Nationally Funded Centres Paediatric Heart Transplant Program (NFC PHT Program) on behalf of the NFC Reference Group. 

 The objectives of the review was to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the NFC PHT Program provided by the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne (RCHM) for the period 2008 to 2013 in accordance with criteria established by the NFC Program.  In addition the review:

  • formulated recommendations to address the following areas:
    • need for, and benefits of, continued service concentration under the NFC Program
    • continuation of the service; identify national demand; determine optimal throughput for a site; and recommend the number of sites to deliver the procedure for the next three years
    • strategies to address specific issues identified through the review relating to the scope of services and care provided by the NFC to meet current clinical and service requirements
    • an appropriate price per procedure
  • assessed the progress made in implementing recommendations from the 2008 Review
  • identified opportunities to improve patient outcomes.

The review methodology designed by HOI included: 

  • quantitative and qualitative analysis to address the review criteria as outlined in the NFC Program Guidance for Governance, Management, Funding, Establishment, and Review (the NFC Guidance)
  • analysis of the submission provided by the RCHM to the NFC Reference Group
  • a comprehensive literature review of international trends in PHT
  • a case study visit to the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne (RCHM)
  • telephone consultations with jurisdictional representatives and stakeholders
  • cost analysis of the PHT care pathways.

HOI delivered a thorough report containing a number of recommendations based on the evidence obtained throughout the life of the project. Specific areas of focus included the following:

  • performance of the NFC program (with specific analysis of access, outcomes achieved, quality and safety, teaching, training and research, cost, service demand, risk management, clinical practice)
  • the future of the NFC program in terms of new clinical practice and technologies, equity of access, assessment of demand and patient throughput and PHT target population
  • program costing (specifically procedure costing and funding, care pathway costs, drivers of cost, benchmarking of costs, cost effectiveness of PHT).