Glenfield cardiac unit campaigners welcome ruling
Campaigners fighting to save a children's heart unit in Leicester say they are relieved a final decision will be made on its future.
Glenfield Hospital is one of several cardiac centres under threat as part of an NHS reorganisation of services.
The legality of the government's review into cutting the number of units had been challenged by London's Royal Brompton Hospital.
But the Court of Appeal has ruled the consultation was lawful.
The Department of Health's Safe and Sustainable review examined all of England's child cardiac units in a bid to concentrate services in fewer, better units.
The west London hospital challenged the way the consultation was carried out by NHS bosses.
A decision on Glenfield's future had been due in December. A final decision will now be made on 4 July.
Campaign group Heart Link collected more than 100,000 signatures in a bid to convince the review team that Glenfield Hospital should remain open.
Group member John Rigby said: "We've just got to keep our fingers crossed, we are relieved.
"And I'm very relieved personally that the decision has gone this way. But I'm also very angry with the Royal Brompton that they have taken this step and it's been allowed to drag on."
Elizabeth Aryeetey, lead nurse for the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre at Leicester's Hospitals, said: "We are relieved the review process can now continue and, before too long, bring to a close what has been an unsettling time for our patients and their families.
"During the national consultation 60% of families and the public across the country backed the Leicester option and we're pleased their important opinions on the services they use can now be fully considered by the decision makers."