Borough set to back heart fight

IPSWICH'S corridors of power could soon throw their backing behind the battle to save heart attack care in Suffolk.

IPSWICH'S corridors of power could soon throw their backing behind the battle to save heart attack care in Suffolk.

Michelle Bevan-Margetts is due to put forward a motion questioning plans of the unelected Strategic Health Authority and Specialised Commissioning Group at Ipswich Council's meeting on Wednesday.

The former nurse, who trained at Ipswich Hospital, has also contacted the other councils in Suffolk in the hope that they will back her call to make sure emergency heart attack victims can still be treated at Ipswich Hospital, rather than sent to specialist centres in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, which health bosses say offer a higher standard of care.

Mrs Bevan-Margetts' motion states: “Ipswich Borough Council believes that the NHS should provide a full range of health services at Ipswich Hospital for the residents of Ipswich and Suffolk.

“This council expresses great concern about the current proposed changes to the provision of essential and critical services at Ipswich hospital.”

It calls on the government, East of England Strategic Health Authority and NHS Suffolk to withdraw the current heart attack plans, consider setting up a specialist heart centre in the area, protect cancer services at Ipswich Hospital, explain what the future holds for the hospital, and study the impact of travel for treatment on stress and families.

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The motion, which councillors can back or reject at the meeting, warns that if health bosses fail to engage with the public they could face a legal challenge from councils.

Mrs Bevan-Margetts, who also spoke out at Thursday's review meeting into heart attack care, added: “I have a very very big fear for the future of Ipswich Hospital. I have been listening to what people in Ipswich think about the plans and I am so angry.

“I decided to put a motion to our council and have invited all the other district councils and Suffolk County Council to adopt it.”

Heart attack debate

Currently emergency heart attack victims are given clot-busting drugs by paramedics or in hospital

The plans would see them instead taken to specialist primary angioplasty centers set up in Norwich, Papworth in Cambridgeshire, and Basildon in Essex.

Health bosses at the East of England Specialised Commissioning Group and Strategic Health Authority say primary angioplasty gives people more chance of survival than the drugs.

But to be effective any heart attack treatment needs to be given as quickly as possible.

In Suffolk patients, politicians and doctors have expressed fears that the long distances people will face for treatment could put them at risk.