Felixstowe: Resort joins fight to save stroke care at hospital

Sylvia Arnold is pictured at her home in Felixstowe with her petition to save the stroke care unit.

Sylvia Arnold is pictured at her home in Felixstowe with her petition to save the stroke care unit. She is backing the Ipswich Star campaign. - Credit: Archant

PEOPLE in Felixstowe are today being urged to get behind the campaign to save Ipswich Hospital’s specialist stroke unit – and avoid facing longer journeys by ambulance for emergency treatment.

Signatures are being collected in the seaside town for the Ipswich Star’s Save Our Stroke Care petition.

Organiser of the resort’s opposition, Sylvia Arnold, of the Felixstowe Co-operative Women’s Guild, said she had met members of the Felixstowe Stroke Support Group – several of whom owe their lives to the excellent treatment they had received at Ipswich.

She said: “I heard their individual stories and I knew I had to do something to try to save it for people in Felixstowe and the surrounding area who will need it in the future.

“So many of the people I spoke who had suffered a stroke said they would not have the good quality of life they enjoy now if it had not been for Ipswich and being able to get there so quickly.

“The faster a person who has a stroke can be treated, the better.

“It’s no use sending people 70 miles in an ambulance and running that risk – that seems ridiculous. We need to have treatment as close as we can and Ipswich Hospital’s services are very highly thought of.”

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Mrs Arnold, who lives with her husband Colin in Colneis Road, Felixstowe, is planning to take the petition around the town centre shops, and will also be at Great Eastern Square, Hamilton Road, on Saturday from 10am to 4pm at a Stroke Awareness Day when people can have their blood pressure taken.

The petition is also available to sign at The Felixstowe Star office at 172 Hamilton Road, Felixstowe.

A regional stroke review is currently under way to identify locations for hyper acute stroke units (HASUs) at hospitals across East Anglia. That review could see Ipswich Hospital missing out on establishing a specialist centre, meaning patients would have to travel to Addenbrooke’s in Cambridge or Colchester Hospital.

The aim of the review is to create several centres of excellence to improve patients’ chances of survival and recovery.

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