A SOUTHAMPTON MP has warned that the lives of seriously ill children will be lost if uncertainty over the city’s heart unit continues.

John Denham, MP for Southampton Itchen, has spoken out as High Court battle gets underway this morning to overturn the decision by health bosses to save children’s heart surgery in Southampton.

The legal challenge has been launched by campaigners fighting to stop the closure of paediatric cardiac surgery at Leeds General Infirmary, which was earmarked for the axe in July last year.

Mr Denham said he is still confident that Southampton’s heart unit would still remain open but urged for an end to the uncertainty hanging over the city’s world renowned centre.

He added: “I know that Ministers cannot ignore the courts, but it is so frustrating that months after a lengthy independent panel made clear recommendations, there are no final decisions.

“They need to remember that the whole reason for change is to improve the chances of very sick children getting the best possible treatment”

Health bosses decided to keep children’s heart surgery in Southampton last July after a lengthy consultation which saw more than 250,000 people sign the Daily Echo’s Have a Heart petition fighting to save it.