WE NEED you.

That is the message from the man whose specialist skills has helped fix the tiny hearts of 2,000 babies over the last 14 years in Southampton.

Consultant cardiac surgeon Marcus Haw is sending out a passionate plea to Daily Echo readers to complete a consultation response form to help save children’s heart surgery in Southampton.

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.

So far the response to the Daily Echo’s Have a Heart petition has been incredible, with more than 150,000 signing up, but when it comes to filling out the questionnaire, the city is lagging behind.

What is said by you in the all important forms will be taken into consideration by the health bosses who hold the fate of Southampton General Hospital’s world-class unit in their hands.

Every form completed which backs Option B due to a desire to get the best quality care for our children will add weight to the argument that Southampton’s specialist unit must be saved.

Mr Haw said: “I think the public consultation events went absolutely as well as they could have possibly gone. They outlined the strength of our case and that it would be totally perverse if Southampton wasn’t in the chosen proposal.

“However, this is a bureaucratic process and we are still massively at risk and could end up with the wrong result.

“Therefore because of this massive threat hanging over us, it is really important for people who have the unit’s best interests at heart to fill in a consultation form and send it in.

“If people who have signed the petition fill in a form then that would send a very powerful message to those making the decision.

“I cannot stress how important these forms are. I know they are not the easiest to fill out but we need to do this.

“It is vital.”

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 lifesaving treatment in London or Bristol, at units which experts say fell below the “exemplary” standards that the city boasts.

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

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