I am very pleased with the decision by the Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts to keep the Children's Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital open. Since the election I have joined campaigners fighting the possible closure and have raised the issue directly with the Government. The Children's Heart Unit at the Freeman is well-established, successful and highly valued by patients and parents. I am delighted that the Committee has taken account of the input and concerns of local people and doctors in this decision, which I know will be a huge relief and comfort for many people across the region. Looking after a child with a heart condition is extremely demanding on families and this decision will come has a huge relief.
It should be understood that this is a decision taken by clinicians for clinical reasons. I have huge sympathy for areas who have lost their facility but this arose out of a lack of specialism centres with a large throughput of work. It is a process I endorse.