MP backs fights for heart unit

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A NORTHUMBERLAND MP has backed the fight to save the Children’s Heart Unit in Newcastle.

Hexham MP Guy Opperman, whose constituency includes Ponteland and communities west of Morpeth, has signed a parliamentary Early Day Motion calling for the unit at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital to be kept open as a life-saving service for the region.

The facility is under threat from a review of children’s heart surgery across the country and would be closed in one of the four options put forward.

Mr Opperman, who is recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumour, has also written directly to Secretary of State Andrew Lansley.

“This is a very important issue and one very close to my heart,” he said.

“I want to ensure the region’s voice is heard loud and clear as part of my NHS Yes campaign.

“The surgeons, nurses and all the NHS staff at the Children’s Heart Unit at the Freeman Hospital are renowned for their skill and dedication. They do an incredible job.

“Local people, both constituents and residents of the wider area, have told me how the unit has helped them on multiple occasions.”