A SOUTHAMPTON hospital is to get a share of more than £1m to help save hundreds of lives in Hampshire.

Southampton General Hospital, pictured, is one of eight trusts across the country to receive the cash boost from the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

The money will be used to allow thousands of people to be tested for a fatal heart condition, which if diagnosed early can be controlled.

It comes after a pilot scheme in Wales identified more than 1,100 people suffering from Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) – compared with just 97 before testing started.

If left undiagnosed, FH can leave people at high risk of dying from a heart attack at a young age after developing heart disease, shortening life expectancy by 20 to 30 years if untreated.

As well funding specialist nurses, the charity has committed an additional £130,000 towards the development of a child register helping to improve understanding of how children with FH respond to early treatment.

Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the BHF, said: “Identifying those at risk is crucial if we’re to prevent serious heart problems and break the chain of generations of families losing loved ones to FH-related heart attacks, commonly at a very young age.