FORMER health minister and Southampton MP John Denham has called for the government to “bang some heads together” after a legal ruling throw the future of Southampton's heart unit back in doubt.

This morning a high court judge ruled that the initial review which decided which heart units should continue to perform specialist surgery, was “flawed”.

It means that the Department of Health must now decide whether to mount its own appeal or begin the review process again.

Reacting to the development Mr Denham said the time had come for the Department of Health to get around the table with hospital bosses and thrash out a solution.

He said: “We cannot continue to have this issue bouncing around in the courts forever. It is time the Department of Health started banging some heads together to sort out an agreed way forward.

“Hospitals cannot be allowed to pursue their own narrow interests at the expense of the National Health Service as a whole.”

He added that the longer the process dragged out the longer children's lives would potentially put at risk.