Ipswich/Suffolk: Hospital bosses vote in favour of seeking funding for vital heart centre

IPSWICH/SUFFOLK: Health chiefs at Ipswich Hospital have voted in favour of seeking a private organisation or charity to build a new specialist heart centre at Ipswich Hospital.

The trust’s board of directors met yesterday at the Heath Road site and gave their approval to go ahead with the plans which will ultimately see an elective heart centre, known as a PCI centre, up and running in Ipswich by 2014.

Speaking at the meeting hospital chief executive Andrew Reed said it is a “very exciting development” for the trust.

The decision must now be formally approved by the strategic health authority, NHS Midlands and East.

The competitive tender process is expected to start by the end of March.

Trust director of business development Andy Burroughs said the news about cardiology is part of a “number of exciting developements” happening at the hospital.

He said the plans will mean patients who currently have to travel to Papworth Hospital in Cambridge for routine elective surgery will be treated at Heath Road.

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While medical director Peter Donaldson said the addition of a new specialist heart centre is the kind of good news the public are keen to see from the hospital.

In May 2009 the Star uncovered plans to build three heart centres for emergency care (PPCI centres) at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Papworth and Basildon - leaving Suffolk the only neighbouring county without the vital provision.

In December 2010 a report published by Professor Roger Boyle, after the launch of the Star’s Have A Heart Campaign in 2009, advised that an elective centre be built in Ipswich while emergency patients should continue to travel to one of the three PPCI centres.

In Wednesday’s Star we revealed around �350,000 had been made available by NHS Suffolk to provide much-needed rehabilitation care for heart patients in Suffolk.

Campaigner and heart patient Len Tate, vice president of Heartbeat East Suffolk, raised the issue at the meeting with Professor Boyle’s representative to give patients the back up once they left hospital.

Two rehabilitation nurses are being appointed to work at Ipswich Hospital, West Suffolk Hospital and in the community.

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