A CHILDREN’S heart charity said it is appalled by health secretary Jeremy Hunt’s decision to order a review into the UK’s specialist heart units.
The Daily Echo reported how the Government has dramatically ordered the review just three months after the Southampton centre was told it was safe.
The Children’s Heart Support Network (CHSN) last night said the decision was a blow for families with children needing heart surgery.
More than 250,000 people signed the Daily Echo’s Have A Heart petition which was taken to Downing Street in a bid to save the city’s specialist unit. And in July it was announced Southampton would be one of seven national specialist centres that would continue performing heart surgery on children.
But after concerns were raised by two of the three hospitals who were told they would be closing, a preliminary review of the decision has now been ordered.
The Independent Reconfiguration Panel (IRP) concluded that a full probe is merited, prompting the Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt to order the review of the original committee’s decision.
Natasha Carrington, trustee for the CHSN  and mum to Joshua, a patient at Southampton Heart Unit, said: “It is very disappointing that this will hang over our heads after the positive outcome for Southampton in July.
“The last year has been very stressful but I know all the parents of children treated at Southampton will continue to fight on.”
Bosses at Southampton General Hospital said it was business as usual but campaigners say the latest news is unfair on children, the families and doctors to face further uncertainty.