Hampshire children’s heart unit has the ‘best surgeon’

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A PORTSMOUTH family is backing calls for a children’s heart unit to remain open in Hampshire.

NHS England wants to reduce the 10 centres that provide congenital heart services nationally to six or seven.

The closest centre to Portsmouth is at Southampton General Hospital, which last year was saved, but a review of the decision means the centre is under threat again.

In the past year the hospital has treated 118 congenital heart patients from the Portsmouth area.

This includes Hudson Trevithick, one, who was born with a hole in his heart and without a pulmonary artery.

His father Andy, 33, of Milton Road, Baffins, said: ‘The team here have been fantastic with us all, and especially Hudson.

‘If this centre were to close, then for us the next closest would be Birmingham, or even Liverpool.

‘We know this unit sees patients from the Isle of Wight, Plymouth and Jersey, so we are quite fortunate we only have to travel 45 minutes.’

The couple also have another son called Jayden, five.

Mum Lisa, 33, said: ‘As well as it being close, which helps keep the family together, we absolutely trust the surgeons here. And Hudson also feels safe. People know us and always say hello and make us feel welcome – and we have the best surgeon.’

This new consultation is also looking at adult heart services at the hospital.

It runs until December 8, with a decision due to be made next year.