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Breaking News … JCPCT announce that Ocean Ward will continue to provide children’s heart surgery 4.7.12

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 Ocean Ward was identified as the No. 2 unit in the country by the Independent Review Panel led by Sir Ian Kennedy.

Our families worked extremely hard over a number of months to raise awareness of Ocean Ward’s plight through local and national media, petitioning at public events and venues, canvassing of MPs and encouraging as many people as they could to submit their opinions through the consultation questionnaire.   The Echo in Southampton got fully behind Ocean Ward and launched the “Have a Heart Petition” which achieved almost a quarter of million signatures in support.  A coach-load of Ocean Ward families delivered the petition to No 10 in June of last year, along with a good show of supporting MPs from across the Wessex region.

Read the transcript of the Backbenchers Debate starting at Column 500:



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 with a ruling that the process was unlawful.  This delayed the decision.  The JCPCT successfully appealed against that ruling in March and the final decision on which units will continue to provide surgery will be announced at a meeting in London on 4th July.  You will be able to watch the decision live online at the specialised services website.