Last chance to save vital service

THANK heavens someone is listening!The saga over the decision to move head and neck cancer surgery from Ipswich to Norwich has been characterised by deception and half-truths from day one.

THANK heavens someone is listening!

The saga over the decision to move head and neck cancer surgery from Ipswich to Norwich has been characterised by deception and half-truths from day one.

The Anglia Cancer Network and the strategic health authority had an agenda from day one to take this service away from Ipswich - and were prepared to twist the facts to ensure their decision was pushed through.

They started by quoting figures for operations which were disputed by the clinicians actually carrying out the procedures.

When the doctors' figures turned out to be right, the administrators said that didn't affect their case.

The administrators asked for a “sample” of the petition forms we received - so when we sent them a sample they then claimed there had only been 800 responses when in fact there were well over 3,000.

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Now, however, the decision does seem set to be referred to Suffolk's health scrutiny committee for another examination.

That is vital - and committee chairman David Lockwood has indicated that he and his members will be prepared to listen carefully to all the arguments.

Across the area campaigners are confident that they will be able to reach only one conclusion - that the shameful decision to move head and neck cancer surgery to Norwich will have to be sent to secretary of state Alan Johnson for review.

And once he has looked at it, the decision will be reversed and a genuine partnership between the two hospitals can be developed giving medical and nursing staff the ability to share expertise while patients are able to be treated as near home as possible.

CHELSEA owner Roman Abramovich's offer to help push the fundraising for a statue in memory of legendary rugby star Prince Obolensky has given the project a tremendous boost.

It really does look as if his donation will mark the conversion of the project from the drawing board into a real piece of public art which will grace our town.

Mr Abramovich's love of football is well-known. Now it seems as if he may also have an appreciation of the oval ball game . . . and the first native-born Russian to become a rugby legend!

CHRIS Kiwomya was a talented striker whose goals helped take Ipswich Town from the second division to the higher reaches of the Premier League in its inaugural season.

As such he is still remembered with great fondness by many Town fans - and they will be delighted to see him return to the club in a coaching role.

Like many others, Kiwomya never really recreated the Ipswich Town form which brought him to the attention of the England set-up once he moved away from Portman Road to Arsenal and then QPR.

Fans will be hoping that now he has returned “home” to coach developing players he will help to bring forward a new generation of Tractor Boys.