THE process to see whether the region’s children’s heart unit will stay open can carry on again from today.
Parents and staff have been waiting to see if a three-month consultation – over nationwide proposals that could see the closure of the children’s congenital heart services at Southampton General Hospital – would have to be redone.
It came after the Royal Brompton Hospital, in London, challenged the way the process was carried out by NHS officials last year.
But this morning the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) won its appeal against that ruling.
If JCPCT had lost it would have meant the consultation would have to start again.
The Department of Health wants to reduce 11 centres nationally to just six or seven.
Now the JCPCT will look through feedback from health professionals, staff, patients and members of the public.
A decision on whether the unit will stay is due to be made on July 4.