WE’VE hit the 150,000 mark!

That’s the incredible total now fighting to save children’s heart surgery in Southampton through the Daily Echo’s Have a Heart campaign.

Hospital staff, families of heart patients, politicians, businesses and schools have all taken action to help send a clear message to health bosses who hold the fate of the worldclass unit in their hands.

The new landmark comes a week after a rally in Southampton’s Guildhall Square and two public meetings attended by hundreds of people.

But with just four weeks to go before the end of the consultation, there is still time to ensure your voice is heard.

Take Part in the Consultation
Click here to help save the heart unit.
The consultation is what the government will use to evaluate which units it will keep. It is imperative that as many people as possible use this opportunity to say they want 'Option B' which will save Southampton's children's cardiac unit.

Hospital bosses have been blown away by the strength of support.

Mark Hackett, chief executive of Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “To reach 150,000 signatures truly is a remarkable achievement and demonstrates we as a group – staff, patients, families and members of the public – will not stand for anything less than the best quality in our NHS.

“The Echo’s Have a Heart petition and the Save Our Heart Unit campaign have introduced a sense of unity and determination across whole communities and that is something we should all be proud of.”

Despite being ranked the second best in the country our paediatric heart unit is at risk 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 makes its final decision.

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

standards that the city boasts.

But to ensure that this doesn’t happen people from across the south have been putting pen to paper, knowing that the specialist team at Southampton offers the best quality care for our poorly youngsters.

Dr James Gnanapragasam, consultant paediatric cardiologist, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and one we hope will push on many more of the 150,000 supporters to complete a consultation questionnaire as we head towards the end of the consultation period on July 1.”

To get your name on the petition go down to WestQuay today, where campaigners will be collecting signatures all day or to the Rose Bowl this evening between 5pm and 7pm.

Visit the government consultation website

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