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Christmas comes early for heart centre

PUBLISHED: 04:59 15 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 March 2010

CHRISTMAS has come early for a hospital appeal to raise £2million for a new heart centre.

The Rhythm of Life fundraising appeal at Ipswich Hospital was launched on Valentine's Day 2000, and was expected to take until February 2002.

CHRISTMAS has come early for a hospital appeal to raise £2million for a new heart centre.

The Rhythm of Life fundraising appeal at Ipswich Hospital was launched on Valentine's Day 2000, and was expected to take until February 2002.

But it has now hit its target, two months early.

Local people have raised half a million pounds for the appeal, and this, together with national funding for improving services and reducing waiting times for heart patients, has been combined with cash from the New Opportunities Fund for Health programme –one of the National Lottery good causes distributors.

Faster treatment is now available for people suspected of having heart problems in a Rapid Access Chest Pain Clinic, and family doctors are able to refer patients immediately to the clinic.

State-of the-art medical equipment, including a diagnostic machine (echocardiogram) has been bought by the appeal, as featured in the Evening Star, together with 24-hour monitoring equipment which can also be used by GPs.

More specialist staff, including a third consultant cardiologist, have been employed and waiting times to see specialists have been reduced.

A Suffolk-wide campaign to help people stop smoking, has helped hundreds of people kick the habit in its first year.

Design and building work for a new Cardiac Angiography Unit will soon start at the hospital.

The new angiography machine, a huge sophisticated x-ray machine, will save hundreds of patients having to travel to Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire for tests.

The coronary care unit and specialist cardiac ward will be brought up to date with the latest equipment.


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