Heart trial could be extended

IPSWICH: Health bosses were today set to consider proposals to extend the controversial heart attack road dash trial by to up a year.

IPSWICH: Health bosses were today set to consider proposals to extend the controversial heart attack road dash trial by to up a year.

The initial pilot to treat serious patients outside the county was only due to last for three months, but the East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) is recommending it be extended because not enough people have been treated.

The news has been welcomed by campaigners who have been fighting against the East of England Specialised Commissioning Group's plans to take heart attack victims in the county to specialist Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PPCI) centres at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Papworth in Cambridge and Basildon in Essex.

The original trial scheme - ordered by heart tsar Professor Roger Boyle - began in September to allow experts to study survival rates and journey times ahead of a final assessment.

But a report to the SHA, to be discussed at a meeting today, recommends the consultation continues for up to six months - and more than likely 12 - to provide an appropriate sample size covering all road conditions.

Tony Ramsey, spokesman for Heartbeat East Suffolk Cardiac Support Group, said: “It is good news that they are not going to rush this through - we have always been in favour of a longer trial than three months.

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“It is a welcome recommendation and we look forward to the day that we can do it all in Ipswich, although we understand it is a long way ahead.”

Ben Gummer, Tory candidate for Ipswich, also welcomed the extension to the consultation.