Ipswich: Tributes as heart tsar steps down

IPSWICH: National heart tsar Professor Roger Boyle, who has just announced his retirement, was praised today for his part in helping to secure a specialist heart centre in Ipswich Hospital.

Prof Boyle, the national director for heart disease and stroke, said this week that his concerns over the current reorganisation of the health service have played a part in his decision to retire.

As he announced his retirement, key figures in the town, who were involved in the debate about heart services in Ipswich, wished him well for the future.

In 2009 Prof Boyle carried out an independent review into a controversial decision by health bosses to take emergency heart attack victims in Suffolk to specialist Primary Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PPCI) centres at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Papworth in Cambridge and Basildon in Essex.

The Star launched its Have a Heart Appeal to help raise funds to set up a catheter laboratory at Ipswich Hospital where planned angioplasty (specialist heart treatment) could be carried out. Around �30,000 has been raised and it is set to be built in the near future.

Ben Gummer, Ipswich MP who campaigned with the Star and the group Heartbeat, to secure heart services for Suffolk, said: “He [Prof Boyle] is one of the most eminent heart specialists in the country and without his thorough review, it is unlikely we would have had a PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) centre approved.”

Andrew Reed, Ipswich Hospital chief executive, said: “Professor Boyle is an outstanding clinician.

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“His knowledge is at the forefront of his profession and he has contributed immensely to the health and wellbeing of patients throughout the country.”

Dr Dan Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said: “It was useful to have Professor Boyle’s review, which helped bring much better scrutiny in terms of quality heart care, but I think the new health reforms will complete the job.”

On his retirement, Prof Boyle said: “I’m partly leaving because I’m opposed to the substantial reorganisation of a service that I love deeply and that is regarded across the world as very efficient.”