PRIME Minister David Cameron has dramatically backed a flagship £4.8million drive for a new children's accident and emergency unit in Southampton.

Mr Cameron has praised plans for a landmark new centre at Southampton General Hospital as a "very good idea".

His words come just hours before those behind the scheme wait with bated breath - hoping Chancellor George Osborne will "Say Yes" to pledge his blessing towards developing the children's accident emergency and trauma centre when he announces his spending plans in today's Budget.

As previously reported the Daily Echo has teamed up with Southampton General Hospital and celebrities Sarah Parish and James Murray from the Murray Parish Trust to campaign for the proposed new unit.

It will offer bespoke care for young people in a 'child friendly' environment - instead of them having to use busy adult A&E services.

But before we can raise the funds, those behind the project need the government to agree to match-fund cash locally with £2million from the Treasury Saints legend Francis Benali and Little Britain star Matt Lucas are among those supporting our Say Yes George campaign.

Previously Mr Osborne told the House of Commons there was a "strong case" for the new facilities after Southampton North and Romsey MP Caroline Nokes asked him a question in Parliament.

Now the Prime Minister has told Southampton Itchen MP Roston Smith that he is admirer of the plans.

It follows Mr Smith brokering a high profile meeting with Mr Cameron in Downing Street.

Mr Smith, who used the opportunity to set a private meeting to lobby the Prime Minister for the plans, said: "I had a private meeting with the Prime Minister about this.

"He thought it was good idea and he said that Southampton General Hospital was already an excellent hospital. He was very supportive in principle."

Mr Smith added: "Of course the Chancellor holds the purse strings but I remain optimistic and hopeful that George makes the announcement we've all been hoping for."

Ms Parish said: "It's incredible exciting that this has been brought to the Prime Minister and he thinks it is a good idea. It is another huge step towards George Osborne hopefully agreeing to matched funding."

She thanked Mr Smith for his efforts and added: "The more connections we can make the better and there's a good feeling we can be successful - fingers crossed."

The new department, hoped to one day be part of a complete multi-million-pound children’s hospital, would feature a state-of-the-art, eight-bed observation area, 11 glass fronted and soundproofed cubicles, and on-hand X-ray facilities.