Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Southampton hospital Twitter day to save heart unit

SUHT Twitter
Image caption The daily activities on the Ocean Ward are being tweeted

A children's heart hospital is using Twitter in its campaign against threatened closure.

Staff at Southampton General Hospital's Ocean Ward are sending tweets about their daily work and activities.

The unit is part of the NHS review of child heart surgery, replacing 11 units with six or seven larger centres.

Dr James Gnanapragasam, consultant paediatric cardiologist, said: "It's essential... this world-class facility continues to thrive."

The NHS review looked at all 11 units in England amid concern expertise in children's heart surgery was being spread too thinly.

The review, set up by the National Specialised Commissioning Group, which is in charge of child heart units, recommended a minimum of four surgeons per unit, which means at least four hospitals will stop doing operations.

Three of the review's four options involve closing Southampton's unit despite it being rated second highest out of all the 11 centres providing the service.

In 2010, 404 congenital heart surgery procedures were carried out in Southampton.

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