Children's cardiac unit at Southampton General Hospital saved

Nursing staff celebrate after the cardiac unit is saved

Nursing staff celebrate after the cardiac unit is saved

First published in Have a Heart Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter

CHILDREN'S heart surgery in Southampton has been saved.

Health bosses have this afternoon decided to listen to the 250,000 people who signed the Daily Echo's petition to save the surgical unit at Southampton General Hospital.

Campaigners and medical staff from the unit who travelled up to London to hear the decision celebrated the news and were quickly on the phone to call all those in Southampton anxiously awaiting the outcome.

Last February the surgical centre was given just a 25 per cent chance of survival as the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts looked to cut the UK's 11 units down to six or seven.

However after a prolonged campaign during the consultation, that ended with the Daily Echo heading to Downing Street to hand over the 250,000 signatures on the paper's Have a Heart petition, hospital bosses felt the case to keep surgery at Southampton was strongly made.

And just a moment ago they got the news they wanted to hear.

Mark Hackett, chief executive, said: “This is fantastic news for our patients and their families and we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received across the country. We would like to thank all those who supported us throughout the consultation to safeguard this service for future generations.

“In the future, there will no doubt be more national reviews of services and we need to keep quality at the centre of the way we shape, guide and decide location.”

Southampton City Council leader Cllr Richard Williams added: “We are absolutely delighted that the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts has fully recognised the excellence of Southampton’s children’s heart unit and have listened to the justified and logical argument to produce this excellent result.

“Southampton City Council commends the Daily Echo for this important campaign which we fully supported and which without doubt significantly contributed to the trust’s decision to secure our children’s heart unit for the future – well done!

“It’s just a shame we had to go through all this nonsense, but we got the right outcome and a great result for children and young people in this area.”

Comments (21)

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6:55pm Wed 4 Jul 12

S Pance says...

Fab news!

Congrats to all who campaigned to keep it open! Well done!
Fab news! Congrats to all who campaigned to keep it open! Well done! S Pance
  • Score: 0

6:55pm Wed 4 Jul 12

magssoton says...

a sensible decision Well done to SGH and all who worked so hard to make sure this most excellent service stayed in the south
a sensible decision Well done to SGH and all who worked so hard to make sure this most excellent service stayed in the south magssoton
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Wed 4 Jul 12

True Chandler's Ford resident says...

Fabulous, fabulous news - well done Southampton!!
Fabulous, fabulous news - well done Southampton!! True Chandler's Ford resident
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Wed 4 Jul 12

Over the Edge says...

Brilliant news for the children of Southampton and Hampshire suffering from heart problems.

Well done to all the doctor's, nurse's, children and parents who have fought hard to keep this wonderful unit open.
Brilliant news for the children of Southampton and Hampshire suffering from heart problems. Well done to all the doctor's, nurse's, children and parents who have fought hard to keep this wonderful unit open. Over the Edge
  • Score: 0

7:04pm Wed 4 Jul 12

TheJoiners says...

Best news of the year :-)
Best news of the year :-) TheJoiners
  • Score: 0

7:11pm Wed 4 Jul 12

sarfhamton says...

Really pleased for the patients and staff but this means bad news for other parts of the UK.

I can't see why any of them needed to close.
Really pleased for the patients and staff but this means bad news for other parts of the UK. I can't see why any of them needed to close. sarfhamton
  • Score: 0

7:14pm Wed 4 Jul 12

BenjiWinsor says...

I listened to it all online live and I wouldn't say any petition or public outcry had any influence at all, all the centres had their locals out in force trying to save their centres. From the outset the discussion was based on evidence of quality, viability of locality, facilities and finance. From the outset option B seemed to be favourite based on the evidence and research and figures quoted. So pleased for Southampton but also pleased that it has been evidenced as the best decision of all options not just because we have the loudest voices.
I listened to it all online live and I wouldn't say any petition or public outcry had any influence at all, all the centres had their locals out in force trying to save their centres. From the outset the discussion was based on evidence of quality, viability of locality, facilities and finance. From the outset option B seemed to be favourite based on the evidence and research and figures quoted. So pleased for Southampton but also pleased that it has been evidenced as the best decision of all options not just because we have the loudest voices. BenjiWinsor
  • Score: 0

7:23pm Wed 4 Jul 12

Sir Ad E Noid says...

TheJoiners wrote:
Best news of the year :-)
I'll second that.
[quote][p][bold]TheJoiners[/bold] wrote: Best news of the year :-)[/p][/quote]I'll second that. Sir Ad E Noid
  • Score: 0

7:40pm Wed 4 Jul 12

ajw1986 says...

Absolutely agree best news, couldn't have imagined it going the other way. Fantastic effort by the close supporters who put so much effort into getting it made clear we're not taking it lying down! The amount of lives saved by these people and the staff will never be known.
Absolutely agree best news, couldn't have imagined it going the other way. Fantastic effort by the close supporters who put so much effort into getting it made clear we're not taking it lying down! The amount of lives saved by these people and the staff will never be known. ajw1986
  • Score: 0

7:44pm Wed 4 Jul 12

twarland says...

Fantastic news ... Well done Southampton :-) And well done to all who fought to keep it open
Fantastic news ... Well done Southampton :-) And well done to all who fought to keep it open twarland
  • Score: 0

7:49pm Wed 4 Jul 12

acid drop says...

Whooooooooooopeeeeee
eee
for southampton general
Whooooooooooopeeeeee eee for southampton general acid drop
  • Score: 0

7:51pm Wed 4 Jul 12

freefinker says...

Excellent news.
Excellent unit.
Great.
Excellent news. Excellent unit. Great. freefinker
  • Score: 0

8:11pm Wed 4 Jul 12

SOULJACKER says...

Hell yeah, brilliant news....something positive at last :)

Well done to the General Hospital :)
Hell yeah, brilliant news....something positive at last :) Well done to the General Hospital :) SOULJACKER
  • Score: 0

8:24pm Wed 4 Jul 12

The Music Man says...

Brilliant. Roll on Pulse Festival
Brilliant. Roll on Pulse Festival The Music Man
  • Score: 0

8:44pm Wed 4 Jul 12

OceansofRed says...

Really good news and what was pleasing was seeing politicians of all sides unite against these plans.
Really good news and what was pleasing was seeing politicians of all sides unite against these plans. OceansofRed
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Wed 4 Jul 12

saintmatt84 says...

Brilliant news if it wasn't for the amazing work they do I don't know if my little boy would be here today!!
Brilliant news if it wasn't for the amazing work they do I don't know if my little boy would be here today!! saintmatt84
  • Score: 0

9:25pm Wed 4 Jul 12

business-guru says...

southampton was put into doubt purely due to geographical location... this battle is won... but I fear there may be others in the future.... the fact this country has not got a national network of air ambulances is a global disgrace and the one there are , are funded by charity....
southampton was put into doubt purely due to geographical location... this battle is won... but I fear there may be others in the future.... the fact this country has not got a national network of air ambulances is a global disgrace and the one there are , are funded by charity.... business-guru
  • Score: 0

9:45pm Wed 4 Jul 12

Karenrstevens says...

Fab news, this unit saved my life 26 years ago about time they had something back! well done everyone who campaigned!
Fab news, this unit saved my life 26 years ago about time they had something back! well done everyone who campaigned! Karenrstevens
  • Score: 0

11:33pm Wed 4 Jul 12

cantthinkofone says...

The right decision, and excellent new.

Cllr Williams' comment is staggeringly idiotic though.

"a shame we had to go through all this nonsense" he said.

This 'nonsense' should have happened ten years ago.

The principle is that every centre should be performing a minimum number of ops each year per surgeon, as the evidence is that this makes them safer, and more children survive.

This was realised and accepted a decade ago after the Bristol heart scandal.

In the meantime the failure of politicians and national health leaders to concentrate care in fewer centres has undoubtedly cost children their lives. They have shied away from this necessary change bevcause they have been scared of the voters' reaction to seeing a unit closed. Political cowardice in other words.

Southampton has always been viable and provided top class children's heart surgery, but the same cannot be said of some of the other units, which were too small to give their surgeons enough specialist expertise.

The statistics and evidence suggest that these avoidable deaths probably number in their hundreds.

To repeat - hundreds.

I'd like Cllr Williams to explain to the parents of those lost children why this review has been 'nonsense'.
The right decision, and excellent new. Cllr Williams' comment is staggeringly idiotic though. "a shame we had to go through all this nonsense" he said. This 'nonsense' should have happened ten years ago. The principle is that every centre should be performing a minimum number of ops each year per surgeon, as the evidence is that this makes them safer, and more children survive. This was realised and accepted a decade ago after the Bristol heart scandal. In the meantime the failure of politicians and national health leaders to concentrate care in fewer centres has undoubtedly cost children their lives. They have shied away from this necessary change bevcause they have been scared of the voters' reaction to seeing a unit closed. Political cowardice in other words. Southampton has always been viable and provided top class children's heart surgery, but the same cannot be said of some of the other units, which were too small to give their surgeons enough specialist expertise. The statistics and evidence suggest that these avoidable deaths probably number in their hundreds. To repeat - hundreds. I'd like Cllr Williams to explain to the parents of those lost children why this review has been 'nonsense'. cantthinkofone
  • Score: 0

1:12am Thu 5 Jul 12

The Music Man says...

BenjiWinsor wrote:
I listened to it all online live and I wouldn't say any petition or public outcry had any influence at all, all the centres had their locals out in force trying to save their centres. From the outset the discussion was based on evidence of quality, viability of locality, facilities and finance. From the outset option B seemed to be favourite based on the evidence and research and figures quoted. So pleased for Southampton but also pleased that it has been evidenced as the best decision of all options not just because we have the loudest voices.
Couldn't agree more.

The Leeds petition attracted more than 600,000 signatures, but they are closing; having also listened to the ruling on-line, the decision was based on so many other factors.

Well done Echo for supporting the campaign. It's a shame that any of the units had to close - they all do such a great job.
[quote][p][bold]BenjiWinsor[/bold] wrote: I listened to it all online live and I wouldn't say any petition or public outcry had any influence at all, all the centres had their locals out in force trying to save their centres. From the outset the discussion was based on evidence of quality, viability of locality, facilities and finance. From the outset option B seemed to be favourite based on the evidence and research and figures quoted. So pleased for Southampton but also pleased that it has been evidenced as the best decision of all options not just because we have the loudest voices.[/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more. The Leeds petition attracted more than 600,000 signatures, but they are closing; having also listened to the ruling on-line, the decision was based on so many other factors. Well done Echo for supporting the campaign. It's a shame that any of the units had to close - they all do such a great job. The Music Man
  • Score: 0

10:50am Thu 5 Jul 12

OSPREYSAINT says...

Common sense at last, but we must be on our guard against further action to close the unit.
Common sense at last, but we must be on our guard against further action to close the unit. OSPREYSAINT
  • Score: 0

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