Children treated on Ocean Ward have always received excellent care and families were extremely shocked by the decision to  include Southampton in only 1 of the 4 options put forward, in spite of the fact that the Safe and Sustainable Review Independent Panel led by Sir Ian Kennedy identified Southampton as the No. 2 unit in the country.

Our families worked extremely hard over a number of months to raise awareness of Ocean Ward’s potential plight through local and national media, en masse petitioning, canvassing of MPs and encouraging as many people as they could to submit their opinions through the consultation questionnaire.   The Echo in Southampton fully supported Ocean Ward and started the ” Have a Heart Petition” which achieved almost a quarter of million signatures in support of the retention of Ocean Ward.  A busload of Ocean Ward families The delivered the petition to No 10 in June of last year . along with a good show of supporting  from MPs across the Wessex Region.

 

 

The formal consultation process ended in July 2011.   A summary of the consultation responses showed that Option B (Southampton’s option) was  favoured by most national organisations and favoured across the country as a whole.

The JCPCT originally intended to make a decision on the configuration of heart units by the end of 2011 but the Royal Brompton Hospital successfully challenged the review process as being unlawful and this has delayed the decision.  The JCPCT is appealing that decision and the hearing is listed for March 2012.  If the JCPCT’s appeal is successful,  it is hoped that a decision will be made in the spring.  If RBH’s ruling is upheld, then the JCPTC hopes to make its decision towards the end of 2012 but that also means our families hard work from last year will go to waste and be ignored.  Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that!