Joy as surgery is kept local

HAPPY The Prior family ' from left Paul, Aaron, Jadon and Sam
HAPPY The Prior family ' from left Paul, Aaron, Jadon and Sam
Philip Astle, SCAS chief operating officer and, right, Paul Jefferies, assistant
director of operations

Ambulance service scoops honour for services support

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NHS officials and families have welcomed the announcement that children’s heart surgery will be kept at Southampton General Hospital.

The decision to keep the service, which is used by many people from the Portsmouth area, was agreed at a meeting in London today following a public consultation.

Residents had launched a two-year campaign to keep the surgery local, saying the service at Southampton was one of the best in the country.

Concerns were raised about the increase in travelling if surgery was moved.

Paul Prior, of Locks Heath, whose son Aaron, nine, has treatment for a heart defect at Southampton, said: ‘This is wonderful news. It’s a poignant moment.’

Mark Hackett, chief executive of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘This is fantastic news for our patients and families.

‘We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received.