What is a JCC? (Joint Cardiac Conference)
When your consultant wants to discuss your case with the wider team, often to consider potential intervention or surgery they will take you or your child’s information to a ‘JCC’.
The JCC stands for ‘Joint Cardiac Conference’. It is also sometimes called the ‘MDT’ (multi-disciplinary meeting).
This is a meeting of different types of specialist health professionals in congenital heart care including:
- Cardiac Surgeons
- Imaging Specialists
These specialists come together to discuss the information they have about you or your child’s heart and to agree the best plan of action.
The meeting starts with review of the surgery for the week and then cases are discussed in order of urgency, inpatient and emergencies first and then routine cases. In the case of the children’s JCC, the urgent cases will include babies who have been born that week.
The plan of action may involve further imaging, such as an MRI or CT scan, a cardiac catheter to take a look and understand better what is happening in the heart, a keyhole operation, or open heart operation. Sometimes the plan may be to simply continue to monitor in the outpatient clinic or change you or your child’s medication.
What happens once a plan is made?
The team will inform you usually via a letter when a decision has been made; this should include a plan of action and an explanation of the next steps, which may include seeing you in an outpatient clinic.
If this plan involves surgery, the surgical team will invite you or your child to a surgical clinic. These are usually held virtually and are an opportunity for the surgeon to discuss the surgery planned, the risks involved and talk about your wishes for yourself or your child.
Once surgery is agreed, then you or your child will be added to the surgical waiting list. The length of time until surgery will vary depending on the condition and this will be discussed with you at the appointment.
When do JCCs take place?
- Children (hosted by Bristol Royal Hospital for Children): Every Monday afternoon and Friday morning.
- Adults (hosted by Bristol Heart Institute): Every Monday morning.
How long will it take for my case to be discussed?
If a case is deemed urgent, it is discussed at the next available JCC. We aim to discuss non-urgent cases within 4-6 weeks. You should hear the outcome of the discussion shortly after the discussion. Sometimes it can be very difficult to discuss cases in this time frame due to emergency cases or difficulty in having a specific surgeon or cardiologist available to discuss the case.
If you have been waiting longer than six weeks to hear the outcome of the JCC, or your or your child’s condition has become worse or changed before this timeframe, please contact your clinical team.
Useful contact details
Adult CHD Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) team – Bristol Heart Institute
0117 342 6599
Surgical Secretaries – Bristol Heart Institute
0117 342 6571
Paediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Team (Bristol Royal Hospital for Children)
0117 342 8286
Paediatric surgical co-ordinator (Bristol Royal Hospital for Children)
Flow chart of process