Head and neck plea at carnival

CARNIVAL-goers in Felixstowe were today being urged to join in the fight to save head and neck cancer surgery at Ipswich Hospital.

Rebecca Lefort

CARNIVAL-goers in Felixstowe were today urged to join in the fight to save head and neck cancer surgery at Ipswich Hospital.

Health campaigners in the town want to create greater awareness about the decision to scrap the service at the hospital and move it to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

So during the Felixstowe Carnival, which began in Langer Park today with events also held throughout the weekend, they were due to hand out leaflets alerting them to The Evening Star's petition against the move.

More than 3,100 people have signed the Star's petition in the paper or online with more still coming in, despite Suffolk Primary Care Trust rubberstamping the move at its July meeting.

Michael Ninnmey, a health campaigner in Felixstowe and a councillor with Suffolk Coastal District Council, said he wanted as many people as possible to back the fight to save head and neck cancer surgery.

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He said: “People should sign the petition because it is an important campaign.

“We need to raise awareness because if we don't fight for it it will definitely be taken away.

“I'm hoping people will be responsive, as they have been in the past about other changes that are bad for Felixstowe folk.

“In Felixstowe we have a higher proportion of over 60s so a higher proportion of our population will be affected by head and neck cancer.

“And they will have no choice but to travel long distances for treatment.

“We feel the decision has been forced through and not really thought about.”

Anglia Cancer Network (ACN) wants to move the life-saving head and neck cancer surgery to Norwich, leaving patients with an arduous journey at one of the most stressful times of their lives.

It says the move is needed to comply with national guidelines about the number of patients treated at hospitals.

Are you worried about the decision to move head and neck cancer surgery to Norfolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.