Ipswich: Victory for our heart care fight...but campaign continues

IPSWICH/SUFFOLK: The fight goes on!

That was the battle cry today after The Evening Star’s heart care campaigning won a big victory for Ipswich Hospital.

Although full emergency heart attack care for Ipswich hasn’t yet been won, our Have a Heart campaign has helped secure a substantial victory in the battle for new heart services.

The �30,000 you have raised has shown the powers that be just how important the service is to Suffolk.

The proposal to develop an elective, or planned, angioplasty service (PCI) at the hospital now has the backing of NHS Suffolk and the team of specialists looking at heart attack care in the county.

It is still some way from getting an emergency angioplasty service at a PPCI like those in Papworth, Cambs, Norwich and Basildon – but this could be the first step along the way to that goal.

As revealed in yesterday’s Star, Professor Roger Boyle and his experts have recommended that patients suffering from a particular type of heart attack – a “Stemi” – should be treated at one of the three centres outside the county.

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That still leaves a postcode lottery in terms of emergency heart attack care – with Suffolk patients worse off and facing a road dash to the nearest emergency centres.

But Prof Boyle’s report did back moves to create a PCI centre at Ipswich – and he said the hospital should still be able to administer clot-busting thrombolising drugs to patients who might not make it to one of the specialist centres.

The news was welcomed as a significant victory by Ipswich MP Ben Gummer who joined the Star’s crusade to protect heart services at the hospital before he was elected to represent the town.

He said: “I see this as a victory on two accounts.

“Without the campaign we would never have got this kind of support for a PCI centre which now looks certain to come here.

“And we would not have the pledge that thrombolysing drugs would be able to remain at the hospital. Well done to the Star and its readers for all the hard battling to achieve this success.”

n Is enough being done for Ipswich Hospital’s heart services? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or alternatively you can send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk