Heart patients say: Hear our plea

COME to Ipswich to listen to heart patients - and prove you haven't already made up your mind.

COME to Ipswich to listen to heart patients - and prove you haven't already made up your mind.

That is the message today to heart tsar Professor Roger Boyle, the man charged with reviewing disastrous proposals to treat emergency heart attacks patients outside Suffolk.

For it was Prof Boyle himself who was instrumental in pushing through the move, that would have left patients' lives relying on the A140, A14 and A12 as they dashed out of the county for vital care.

Today the Evening Star can reveal:

It was Prof Boyle who advised the East of England Specialised Commissioning Group not to allow Suffolk paramedics to give clot-busting drugs as a back up, if patients would not be able to reach the specialist heart attack centres in Norwich, Papworth or Cambridge quickly enough.

It was Prof Boyle who disagreed with other experts over the possibility of setting up a part-time primary angioplasty centre in Ipswich, ruling out the proposal when different interpretations of the same guidelines said it was a possibility.

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It was Prof Boyle who controversially said he would be happy for Suffolk patients to face 165 minute waits of emergency heart treatment, rather than the maximum of 150 or 120 minutes suggested by others.

So Prof Boyle, who has been parachuted in from a trip to Australia to deal with the outcry over the plans, will effectively be reviewing his own decision, making it even more vital that he swallows his pride and meets those that oppose him - including this paper and cardiac group Heartbeat East Suffolk.

Len Tate, of Heartbeat East Suffolk, said: “We are absolutely delighted about the review. But it is important that he comes to Suffolk. It is time that he finds out what the people in east Suffolk want.”

Meanwhile Carole Taylor-Brown, chief executive of NHS Suffolk, said she hoped Prof Boyle would not conduct the review on his own.

“Prof Boyle is the top heart specialist,” she added. “NHS Suffolk wants to ensure that another heart specialist with knowledge of remote, rural and coastal areas will be part of the review team.”

What is your message to Professor Roger Boyle? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Professor Roger Boyle CBE

Roger Boyle qualified from The London Hospital in 1972 and trained in cardiology in London, Manchester and Leeds.

He was appointed in 1983 as consultant cardiologist in York where he was Clinical Director and General Manager.

Roger Boyle has been a member of the Council of the British Cardiac Society since 1991 and was formerly Chairman of the Specialty Advisory Committee for training in Cardiology.

He was appointed as National Director for Heart Disease in March 2000 and has led the implementation of the National Service Framework for Coronary Heart Disease.

He was appointed to lead the development of a national strategy for stroke in February 2006.

He is Chairman of the Vascular Topics Consideration Panel for NICE and is a member of the Referral Oversight Group at the Department of Health.

SOURCE: Department of Health

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