NOW it’s your chance to make your voice heard!

Camapigners fighting to save children’s heart surgery in Southampton will stage a mass rally to confront visiting health bosses next week.

Hundreds are expected to pack Guildhall Square on May 24, between 4pm and 6pm to ensure that those who hold the fate of South-ampton’s threatened unit in their hands are in no doubt about how vital and valued it is.

Many supporters have been left angry that their views will not be heard after all 400 places for the two public meetings at the Guildhall were quickly snapped up.

• Visit the consultation website

Health bosses behind the review have bowed to public pressure and allowed 100 extra places for each of the two meetings.

But now campaigners are being urged to join the protest and take the opportunity to show their support and let the sheer number of people send a clear message about how strong the fight is to save Southampton’s heart unit.

Despite being ranked the second best in the country our paediatric heart unit 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 public consultation, before the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) makes its final decision.

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

It is hoped many of the 85,000 people who have already signed the Daily Echo’s Have a Heart petition will flock to the square to take part.

Mark Hackett, chief executive, said: “We have all been overwhelmed with the magnitude of support from people not just in the south of England and the Channel Islands, but from other parts of the UK who are all determined and focused on continuously highlighting the level of quality, excellence and expertise in Southampton – but we must sustain this momentum.

“We are delighted to have filled both events at the Guildhall on May 24, but the demand and feeling has been so strong that I have no doubt we would have packed a third event to the rafters.

“One way the thousands of passionate and dedicated members of the public who have backed us and signed up to the Daily Echo’s Have a Heart campaign can have their say on the day is by joining the many families, patients and other supporters at the rally in Guildhall Square, where I hope to meet as many of them as possible.”

• Have your children been treated at the paediatric cardiac unit in Southampton? Tell us your story by ringing Melanie Adams on 023 8042 4500 or emailing

Daily Echo: Daily Echo Have a Heart Campaign to save paediatric heart surgery in Southampton

Download the Have a Heart petition

Print out, get as many signatures as you can and return to us.
Daily Echo: Have a Heart poster

Download the Have a Heart poster

Print out our A4 sized Have a Heart poster