Huge boost for campaign to save Southampton's children's heart unit

Daily Echo: Huge boost for campaign to save city's heart unit Huge boost for campaign to save city's heart unit

WE THOUGHT it was madness to shut Southampton’s children’s cardiac unit – and now thousands of people across the UK have shown they feel the same.

More Information

There is an in depth report inside today's Daily Echo. Meanwhile, see below for the full consultation document.

Our fight to save children’s heart surgery in Southampton has received a huge boost after the results of a public consultation exercise revealed widespread support for the city’s world-renowned unit.

The unit at Southampton General Hospital is under threat after health chiefs gave it just a 25 per cent chance of survival as they look to have fewer, larger centres. But the public consultation –which received the biggest response in NHS history – found that Option B, which saves Southampton, is favourite overall.

However it faces tough competition from Option A, which would see surgery in the city axed in favour of Leicester’s unit.

The key findings include:

• Option B received the most support from organisations who responded to the consultation, with 63 per cent compared to Option A which got 22 per cent;

• Option A received the highest level of support from personal respondents, with 58 per cent, followed by Option B with 34 per cent;

• But the majority of these respondents were from the east Midlands and south central regions and outside these two regions, there was greater support for Option B, with 43 per cent, compared to 35 per cent for Option A;

•Clinicians were more likely to support Option B, with 52 per cent choosing B compared to 40 per cent opting for A;

• Southampton received the most positive comments by letters and email, with 3,084; n Option B received the highest number of text messages in support, with 13,487;

• There was a strong belief that quality of care should be the deciding factor – and Southampton is second best in the UK by this measure.

The four-month public consultation was launched in February as health chiefs looked to cut the UK’s 11 specialist paediatric cardiac centres down to six or seven to boost services by pooling expertise.

Despite Southampton’s quality care ranking, it featured in just one of four options put out for consultation which asked people where they believed the units should be.

If Southampton closed, families would be forced to get treatment in London or Bristol, at units which experts say fall below the “exemplary”

standards that the city boasts.

This led to the Daily Echo launching its Have a Heart campaign which collected more than 250,000 signatures on its petition to save surgery in Southampton and was handed to the consultation team, via Downing Street.

Today’s findings reveal that medical experts agreed with those quarter of a million people, throwing their backing behind Option B, the only option that saves Southampton, while Option B is the most favoured among organisations, such as hospitals, charities and councils across the UK.

When it came to individual support, though, the report, compiled by Ipsos Mori, revealed that more people chose Option A, which would see the axe fall on surgery in Southampton in favour of Glenfield Hospital in Leicester.

But when local responses for these two hospitals are excluded, Southampton is the most favoured across the rest of the country, leaving campaigners confident that children’s heart surgery will stay in the city.

There were much lower levels of support for Options C and D.

See today's Daily Echo for more on this story

Read the full consultation document

To read the complete document, simply click the button next to the 'S' in the grey bar below, to see the government report in fullscreen mode.

Comments (8)

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9:10am Wed 24 Aug 11

BMWDellboy says...

Fingers crossed that this world renowned specialist children's heart unit survives.
Fingers crossed that this world renowned specialist children's heart unit survives. BMWDellboy
  • Score: 0

10:51am Wed 24 Aug 11

jezzadog says...

I really this valuable centre is retained... however, when reading the full results on the BBC it looks like The Echo is only reporting half the story:
"The option preferred by a majority of patients and the public would see an end to operations at Leeds and Southampton.

But most organisations including NHS trusts and heart charities backed another option, which would exclude surgery at Leeds and Leicester."
I really this valuable centre is retained... however, when reading the full results on the BBC it looks like The Echo is only reporting half the story: "The option preferred by a majority of patients and the public would see an end to operations at Leeds and Southampton. But most organisations including NHS trusts and heart charities backed another option, which would exclude surgery at Leeds and Leicester." jezzadog
  • Score: 0

10:57am Wed 24 Aug 11

Johnny77 says...

My friend's little girl recently celebrated her first birthday, but she wouldn't be here without this unit, where she had to spend the first few months of her life.
PLEASE STAY OPEN
My friend's little girl recently celebrated her first birthday, but she wouldn't be here without this unit, where she had to spend the first few months of her life. PLEASE STAY OPEN Johnny77
  • Score: 0

11:50am Wed 24 Aug 11

StEmmosfire says...

great news.
great news. StEmmosfire
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Wed 24 Aug 11

Poppy22 says...

jezzadog wrote:
I really this valuable centre is retained... however, when reading the full results on the BBC it looks like The Echo is only reporting half the story: "The option preferred by a majority of patients and the public would see an end to operations at Leeds and Southampton. But most organisations including NHS trusts and heart charities backed another option, which would exclude surgery at Leeds and Leicester."
Mmmm, just what I thought after reading the BBC article first.
Perhaps enough Southampton people didn't respond to the survey online as well as signing the Echo's petition - especially when the BBC quotes about 75000 people as having responded to the survey. Weren't there about 50,000 signatures on the Echo petition, meaning if those people had also responded to the online survey the BBC would be reporting a different result??
[quote][p][bold]jezzadog[/bold] wrote: I really this valuable centre is retained... however, when reading the full results on the BBC it looks like The Echo is only reporting half the story: "The option preferred by a majority of patients and the public would see an end to operations at Leeds and Southampton. But most organisations including NHS trusts and heart charities backed another option, which would exclude surgery at Leeds and Leicester."[/p][/quote]Mmmm, just what I thought after reading the BBC article first. Perhaps enough Southampton people didn't respond to the survey online as well as signing the Echo's petition - especially when the BBC quotes about 75000 people as having responded to the survey. Weren't there about 50,000 signatures on the Echo petition, meaning if those people had also responded to the online survey the BBC would be reporting a different result?? Poppy22
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Wed 24 Aug 11

SpittingMoreFire says...

Good grief!

(!)

Well Echo, these are troubling times. It appears that your campaign to boost paper sales with your Internet Edition “only reporting half the story” stories and your various coloured info boxes embedded in them telling readers where they can find the other half, two this time I note, is still going completely unnoticed by your online audience.

Not only that but you've even Scribd the actual consultation document of which these reports are based for your dozy readers, amateur editors, armchair critics and cut 'n' paste citizen journalists to read for themselves.

Question is will they bother?

Will they even bother to 'pick up a copy of the Daily Echo' today for an “indepth report”?

I fear this is a losing battle, Echo.
Good grief! (!) Well Echo, these are troubling times. It appears that your campaign to boost paper sales with your Internet Edition “only reporting half the story” stories and your various coloured info boxes embedded in them telling readers where they can find the other half, two this time I note, is [bold]still[/bold] going completely unnoticed by your online audience. Not only that but you've even Scribd the actual consultation document of which these reports are based for your dozy readers, amateur editors, armchair critics and cut 'n' paste citizen journalists to read for themselves. Question is will they bother? [bold]Will they even bother to 'pick up a copy of the Daily Echo' today for an “indepth report”? [/bold] I fear this is a losing battle, Echo. SpittingMoreFire
  • Score: 0

5:45pm Wed 24 Aug 11

freemantlegirl2 says...

SpittingMoreFire wrote:
Good grief!

(!)

Well Echo, these are troubling times. It appears that your campaign to boost paper sales with your Internet Edition “only reporting half the story” stories and your various coloured info boxes embedded in them telling readers where they can find the other half, two this time I note, is still going completely unnoticed by your online audience.

Not only that but you've even Scribd the actual consultation document of which these reports are based for your dozy readers, amateur editors, armchair critics and cut 'n' paste citizen journalists to read for themselves.

Question is will they bother?

Will they even bother to 'pick up a copy of the Daily Echo' today for an “indepth report”?

I fear this is a losing battle, Echo.
Absolutely spot on as always SF!!

Great results but I'm not surprised the Heart Unit's reputation has outshone the other options by far. Well done to everyone that took part but we have to still keep up the momentum!
[quote][p][bold]SpittingMoreFire[/bold] wrote: Good grief! (!) Well Echo, these are troubling times. It appears that your campaign to boost paper sales with your Internet Edition “only reporting half the story” stories and your various coloured info boxes embedded in them telling readers where they can find the other half, two this time I note, is [bold]still[/bold] going completely unnoticed by your online audience. Not only that but you've even Scribd the actual consultation document of which these reports are based for your dozy readers, amateur editors, armchair critics and cut 'n' paste citizen journalists to read for themselves. Question is will they bother? [bold]Will they even bother to 'pick up a copy of the Daily Echo' today for an “indepth report”? [/bold] I fear this is a losing battle, Echo.[/p][/quote]Absolutely spot on as always SF!! Great results but I'm not surprised the Heart Unit's reputation has outshone the other options by far. Well done to everyone that took part but we have to still keep up the momentum! freemantlegirl2
  • Score: 0

9:19pm Wed 24 Aug 11

loosehead says...

Did you see the BBC tonight? some doctor on there didn't sound like he agrees with it staying here?He said yes of course the local population want it to stay here but so does the others It must go to the review board & they will decide not on surveys or petitions but on the best placed unit .he didn't fill you with hope
Did you see the BBC tonight? some doctor on there didn't sound like he agrees with it staying here?He said yes of course the local population want it to stay here but so does the others It must go to the review board & they will decide not on surveys or petitions but on the best placed unit .he didn't fill you with hope loosehead
  • Score: 0

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