HEALTH Secretary Andrew Lansley insisted all options were being considered as the future of children’s heart surgery in Southampton hangs in the balance.

He said the final decision following a review of lifesaving heart units would be based on evidence and also told the Daily Echo that there were no plans to fully close any units, insisting follow-up care could continue even if surgery moved elsewhere.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference he said: “Whatever conclusions they reach, they have been clear that the issue is about the extent to which there is a need to concentrate surgical expertise into a smaller number of surgical teams which is not the same thing as saying that paediatric cardiac units shut down.

“The paediatric cardiac units would all remain open and would continue to be responsible for the delivery all other aspects of care beyond the specific question of who is responsible for surgery.”

Despite Southampton being ranked the second best unit in the country, it has just a 25 per cent chance of survival.

The Daily Echo launched its Have a Heart campaign, collecting more than 250,000 signatures which were handed to Downing Street.