Chris Huhne goes to the top with plea to save city’s heart unit

Daily Echo: FULL SUPPORT: Eastleigh MP and Climate Change minister Chris Huhne. FULL SUPPORT: Eastleigh MP and Climate Change minister Chris Huhne.

AFTER just four days the Daily Echo campaign to save the future of children’s cardiac surgery in Southampton is to go straight to the heart of Government.

The man in charge of the country’s health will receive a personal plea from a Hampshire MP to save the threatened centre.

Eastleigh MP and Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Huhne has vowed to take the issue to fellow Cabinet member, Health Minister Andrew Lansley.

Mr Huhne believes Southampton is the best place for the specialised unit and is backing the Daily Echo’s Have a Heart Campaign.

The MP joins health experts, politicians, families who have used the centre and hundreds of Echo readers who have already thrown their weight behind our campaign.

Despite being ranked the second best in the country, the unit at Southampton General Hospital is under threat as health chiefs look to cut the UK’s 11 centres down to six or seven.

Southampton was featured in just one of four options which will be put out for a four month public consultation starting on February 28, before the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts makes their final decision by the end of the year.

If Southampton closed, it would mean families would be forced to get life-saving treatment in London or Bristol, at units which experts say fell below the “exemplary” standards that the city boasts.

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Speaking to the Daily Echo, Mr Huhne admitted he was surprised to hear Southampton was not in more than one of the options and gave his full backing to our campaign.

He said: “I would love it for the unit to remain in Southampton and am backing the Daily Echo’s campaign.

“Obviously Southampton is the most appropriate place to centralise children’s cardiac services because of the advantages of being able to get easy access from all around the region.

“The centre had a great reputation and it would be terrible if it was not to be supported.

“The decision is for the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts but I very much keep in touch with Andrew Lansley about health matters and I will be pursuing the case.”

We want readers, politicians and health workers to join forces with families who have used the unit to back our campaign to show how valued and vital the life-saving work done by the city’s top performing heart surgeons is to the region.

Comments (8)

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8:49am Tue 22 Feb 11

heart mummy says...

http://www.ipetition
s.com/petition/wchcs
aveoceanward/
http://www.ipetition s.com/petition/wchcs aveoceanward/ heart mummy
  • Score: 0

9:06am Tue 22 Feb 11

BMWDelboy says...

I don't know too much about it but if SGH is ranked the second best in the country then why is it not being retained ??
I don't know too much about it but if SGH is ranked the second best in the country then why is it not being retained ?? BMWDelboy
  • Score: 0

9:44am Tue 22 Feb 11

Ragdolly says...

All the MP's whose area is supported by the children's cardiac service in Southampton should be following Chris Huhne's example & back this campaign & vocally support the need to retain this centre of excellence.
All the MP's whose area is supported by the children's cardiac service in Southampton should be following Chris Huhne's example & back this campaign & vocally support the need to retain this centre of excellence. Ragdolly
  • Score: 0

3:55pm Tue 22 Feb 11

TEBOURBA says...

What utter hypocrisy !! what crocodile tears!! Huhne, with all the other Lib Dem M.P.s, in a matter of days, ditched the few moral and social beliefs they may have had, for the "glory" of power, position and the limelight, joining the Tory bandwagon and enabling an unelected Tory Party to form a Government.
By adding his name to the campaign he will have weakened it.
The Lib Dem manifesto, was in conflict with the Tory's on major issues, not least of all the NHS and University funding.
Huhne, is simply trying to curry favour with the local electorate for his own ends --- maybe the penny has dropped and he realises that the Lib Dems as a Party are finished, a vote for them is a vote for diehard Toryism, people will no longer believe a word they say and by forming this unholy coalition they will be condemned to the scrap heap of history where they belong.
Just wait until the May elections and see who's right!
What utter hypocrisy !! what crocodile tears!! Huhne, with all the other Lib Dem M.P.s, in a matter of days, ditched the few moral and social beliefs they may have had, for the "glory" of power, position and the limelight, joining the Tory bandwagon and enabling an unelected Tory Party to form a Government. By adding his name to the campaign he will have weakened it. The Lib Dem manifesto, was in conflict with the Tory's on major issues, not least of all the NHS and University funding. Huhne, is simply trying to curry favour with the local electorate for his own ends --- maybe the penny has dropped and he realises that the Lib Dems as a Party are finished, a vote for them is a vote for diehard Toryism, people will no longer believe a word they say and by forming this unholy coalition they will be condemned to the scrap heap of history where they belong. Just wait until the May elections and see who's right! TEBOURBA
  • Score: 0

7:44pm Tue 22 Feb 11

herbie4 says...

This isn't about party politics, the review began under the last government and has continued with the current coalition.

However it is important that people in the region come out fighting as the national nhs politics of this situation are skewing what should be an obvious choice to maintain the unit in Southampton. The question people should be asking is how medicore units could possibly be guaranteed their future ahead of a service rated in the top two in a review of 11 centres across the country and how much influence financially motivated management consultants have had in reaching this conclusion.

The last government argued for quality and choice in healthcare and the current one continues with this mantra - if Southampton isn't chosen we should expect the Health Secretary to explicitly explain why.
This isn't about party politics, the review began under the last government and has continued with the current coalition. However it is important that people in the region come out fighting as the national nhs politics of this situation are skewing what should be an obvious choice to maintain the unit in Southampton. The question people should be asking is how medicore units could possibly be guaranteed their future ahead of a service rated in the top two in a review of 11 centres across the country and how much influence financially motivated management consultants have had in reaching this conclusion. The last government argued for quality and choice in healthcare and the current one continues with this mantra - if Southampton isn't chosen we should expect the Health Secretary to explicitly explain why. herbie4
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Tue 22 Feb 11

herbie4 says...

sorry - meant mediocre units!
sorry - meant mediocre units! herbie4
  • Score: 0

1:33pm Wed 23 Feb 11

Raxx says...

BMWDelboy wrote:
I don't know too much about it but if SGH is ranked the second best in the country then why is it not being retained ??
Because the review seems to have been based more on geography than the quality of care.
[quote][p][bold]BMWDelboy[/bold] wrote: I don't know too much about it but if SGH is ranked the second best in the country then why is it not being retained ??[/p][/quote]Because the review seems to have been based more on geography than the quality of care. Raxx
  • Score: 0

3:37pm Wed 23 Feb 11

davesbabe says...

http://www.ipetition
s.com/petition/wchcs
aveoceanward/

this is the online petition so please sign it and get all your friends to sign too!!
http://www.ipetition s.com/petition/wchcs aveoceanward/ this is the online petition so please sign it and get all your friends to sign too!! davesbabe
  • Score: 0

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