Local people have reacted with dismay at today's statement from Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that plans to reform children's heart surgery in England have been suspended as the decision was based on a "flawed analysis".
Local MP Mike Thornton has branded the entire process as 'scandalous'. The Health Secretary's statement today puts the future of Southampton General Hospital's world-class children's cardiac unit in doubt once again.
Reacting to the statement, local MP Mike Thornton said,
"This decision will affect many parents and children in my constituency, and leave more uncertainty about the future of Southampton General Hospital's children's cardiac unit. Patients, their families, and the heart unit's dedicated staff have already been needlessly put through a rollercoaster of emotions, after a long period of review and consultation. I feel the NHS has badly handled this entire process, letting down parents and children. Frankly, it's scandalous."
"It's right that we look at how we can improve cardiac services across the country, but in our region Southampton is the best place to have children’s heart services because of the easy access it provides from all around the area."
"We must keep campaigning: the Echo's extraordinary 'Have a Heart' campaign was a terrific effort by the whole region. Common sense needs to win out, and this world-class unit needs to stay put. We now have to keep working together to save our children's heart unit."