Ipswich: Cardiologist hails life-saving heart centre

IPSWICH: A leading cardiologist has today revealed how a new specialist heart centre to be built at Ipswich Hospital will allow hundreds of patients to have life-saving treatment in the town.

Welcoming the news – a vital victory for the Star’s Have A Heart campaign – Duncan McNab, consultant cardiologist at the Heath Road trust said: “We have had this within our grasp a number of times in the last four years, only to have it taken away because of NHS finances.

“To have this come out of the blue is incredible. It is a huge morale boost for the team and a huge piece of good news for the hospital.”

He said it is an important step for patients who currently have to travel to Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, but also an important show of commitment to the hospital which will help attract top doctors.

“A centre like this is a big yard stick by which cardiology departments are measured,” Dr McNab added.

Currently the cardiology team shares one lab allowing it to carry out angiograms, examining the X-rays to see if angioplasty treatment needs to be carried out.

If it is required, those patients then have to be transferred to Papworth for the procedure which enlarges narrowed arteries. Dr McNab said the new centre will allow for angiograms as well as the vital angioplasty treatment.

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Dr McNab said there are three types of heart patients; emergency, unstable and elective.

While emergency patients – those who suffer serious heart attacks – will still be treated at one of the three emergency centres at the Norfolk and Norwich hospital, Papworth or Basildon, elective patients will be treated at Ipswich Hospital as soon as the centre opens.

“Within six to 12 months we would hope to be able to treat those unstable patients as well,” he said. “They are the patients who suffer minor heart attacks, that don’t quite consitute an emergency.

“They are currently most inconvenienced, spending two to three days in hospital before waiting to be transferred to Papworth.

“People having these procedures at Ipswich will be operated on by the same doctors who carry out the procedures at Papworth,” he added. “The plan is for their doctors to come to Ipswich.”

n How will this benefit you? E-mail health reporter lizzie.parry@archant.co.uk