STRUCTURE: Management at Southampton University Hospitals were shocked to find they were at risk of being stopped from carrying out paediatric cardiac surgery in England despite excellent clinical ratings, according to board papers.

The Paediatric Cardiac Surgery Safe and Sustainable Review has concluded that surgery should only be carried out in six or seven centres in England and Wales. It has launched a consultation setting out four options for where these centres might be. Southampton is only included in one of the options.

In his report to the board, trust chief executive Mark Hackett wrote: “This was a complete shock to us all, given our excellent clinical quality ratings. We will need to ensure we work tirelessly to deliver a secure future for our excellent centre during the consultation period which ends in July 2011.”