Dear Mr Mole: Our letter to Ipswich MP

Dear Mr Mole,We are writing to urge to change your mind about heart attack care services in Suffolk - and back moves to set up a specialist heart centre in Ipswich.

Dear Mr Mole,

We are writing to urge to change your mind about heart attack care services in Suffolk - and back moves to set up a specialist heart centre in Ipswich.

We admire your efforts to take a principled stance, even though it is causing you huge political damage.

But we believe you should listen to your constituents - rather than distant health bosses with clear agendas to stick to their outrageous plans which they tried to get through on the quiet - because patients are right to demand the same level of care as people in Norwich, Cambridge and Basildon.

You have admitted yourself that the centralisation agenda will result in a postcode lottery of care, a lottery which the people you represent will always lose.

How can you accept this? You should fight to the bitter end for Ipswich lives to be worth as much as those in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex.

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You say you have spoken to clinicians and fully explored the evidence. But we know for sure that many senior clinicians in Suffolk are against the plans because it leaves patients in east Suffolk and north Essex disadvantaged to an unjustifiable extent.

The option of setting up a primary angioplasty centre in Ipswich, thereby giving our patients a fair chance, has not been explored in any substantial level of detail, even though the hospital itself said it was a possibility.

Yes, it may be difficult to recruit cardiologists, but a difficulty for health bosses should not get in the way of top level care the people of Ipswich deserve. It is not their fault that there are not enough cardiologists at Ipswich, even though they are the ones that will suffer.

Meanwhile you also point out that an Ipswich centre may not treat enough patients to keep up its skill base (an argument which has already been used to dismantle head and neck and pancreatic cancer surgery at Ipswich Hospital).

If health bosses argue that the Ipswich centre is not the 100 per cent perfect solution as a result then we point out to you that no service ever fits 100 per cent with national guidelines. And any disadvantage is outweighed by the reduced journey times for Ipswich patients, and hence higher survival rates.

If you do not fight now, when will you? How many more services need to be moved outside the county, leaving people in Norwich, Cambridge and Basildon with better life chances, before you will say no?

So please, decide to fight for a centre for Ipswich, and win the respect of all your constituents.

Yours sincerely,

The Evening Star

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