Mayor attacks heart service plan

CAMPAIGNERS in Felixstowe are furious at news serious heart attacks are to be treated out of county and are to ask the health secretary to stop the proposals.

CAMPAIGNERS in Felixstowe are furious at news serious heart attacks are to be treated out of county and are to ask the health secretary to stop the proposals.

They fear lives will be put at risk and outgoing mayor Mike Deacon said every minute counted when a person had a life-threatening heart attack.

He said he could not imagine how long it might take to get to the Norfolk, Essex, or Cambridgeshire hospitals compared with the 15-minute trip along the A14 to Heath Road.

He is writing to health secretary Alan Johnson on behalf of the people of Felixstowe to make their concerns known.

Mr Deacon said: “This idea is appalling and I was shocked when I read it in the Evening Star that heart attack victims would be transported, not to their nearest hospital, but many miles away.

“Not only is such a journey difficult for the patient but also for relatives who are following and then have to visit.

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“If you are unfortunate enough to experience a heart attack you want to get to a hospital as soon as possible. People's lives could be put at risk.

“I am going to write to the health secretary and ask him to intervene and put a stop to this proposal.”

Mr Deacon questioned what would happen if there were traffic jams or the dual carriageways closed because of an accident.

“There is a surely a better chance of survival if a person gets to hospital quickly,” he said.

Roy Gray, chairman of Felixstowe Save Our Hospitals Action Group, said: “It's unbelievable - this is a matter of life and death and could affect so many people. This service should be at Ipswich Hospital.”

Health bosses say the new out-of-county heart attack centres will start on June 1 and offer an improved service and treatment, saving the lives of many people from Suffolk.

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