OXFORDSHIRE parents campaigning to save child heart surgery at the John Radcliffe Hospital were last night urged to support a link with Southampton to try to keep services in the city.

They were told at a packed meeting at the Kassam Stadium that the link could retain vital cardiac care.

Surgery at the hospital has been suspended for a year following the deaths of four babies and pending the outcome of a Government review into paediatric heart surgery across the country.

The Safe and Sustainable consultation is part of an NHS review into children’s heart services and has recommended fewer, larger centres. The JR was deemed the least likely to meet the criteria to become a ‘supercentre’.

But it was suggested all care apart from surgery would stay through a collaboration between Oxford and Southampton University Hospitals, keeping medical expertise at the JR.