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Heart patient welcomes waiting list cuts

PUBLISHED: 03:31 16 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 March 2010

A HEART patient has welcomed the climax of Ipswich Hospital's £2million fundraising project – which has already helped cut waiting lists by half, the Star can reveal today.

A HEART patient has welcomed the climax of Ipswich Hospital's £2million fundraising project – which has already helped cut waiting lists by half, the Star can reveal today.

As the Evening Star reported in later editions yesterday, the Rhythm of Life appeal met it's target of £2m two months early – thanks to a third of the total coming from lottery money. The hospital celebrated with a balloon launch and is now forging ahead with plans to improve heart services.

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

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

Brian Perks raised £2,000 by organising golf tournaments.

Mr Perks, 69, of Westerfield Road, a national hockey coach and England selector, has had two heart attacks and was last in hospital a year ago.

He said: "People will now be able to quickly find out whether there's anything wrong with them or not, without travelling to Papworth as I had to. Everybody was very supportive of the appeal because everybody is a potential patient."

Appeal co-ordinator Sara Baxter, thanked the people of Ipswich for organising fundraising events, and said : "Their support highlighted the local commitment to improving services, which helped us get lottery funding."

She added that the new facilities can now be created two years earlier than they could have been otherwise, and designs and plans were already being drawn up.

She said: "The department has already halved waiting lists for patients having echocardiograms because they can have the test straight away on a new machine bought with appeal funds, rather than waiting for six months."

Consultant cardiologist Dr Richard Oliver, said: "This is great news and a very exciting time as we get the new services up and running."

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

More specialist staff, including a third consultant cardiologist, have been employed and new equipment bought.

Complex heart cases and specialist operations will still be performed at Papworth Hospital.


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