MP Mole gives his �1 to campaign

SUFFOLK is showing it has a massive heart today - as Ipswich's MP joined the campaign to collect cash for Ipswich Hospital.

SUFFOLK is showing it has a massive heart today - as Ipswich's MP joined the campaign to collect cash for Ipswich Hospital.

Chris Mole has been heavily criticised for agreeing with health bosses that the best way to treat emergency heart attack victims in the town was to send them outside Suffolk for care.

But today the Labour MP said he backed The Evening Star's 'Have a Heart' appeal, which aims to help Ipswich Hospital develop more specialist angioplasty heart facilities by encouraging people to give just �1.

So far more than �7,500 has been raised for the cause thanks to the generosity of people in Suffolk and Mr Mole said he is happy to add his �1 too.

However Mr Mole added he was still unconvinced about the feasibility of providing lifesaving heart attack care at the Heath Road site, the appeal's ultimate goal.

“Of course I would welcome any activity that raises funds to invest in Ipswich Hospital's services,” he said.

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“I know that their business plan has included an intention to have elective angioplasty and I support that if it is a priority for them.”

The Heath Road hospital needs to build new facilities, buy equipment and employ more staff before the dream of a catheter laboratory carrying out elective angioplasty procedures can become a reality.

If the lab is a success it could eventually be expanded to perform emergency angioplasty when patients suffer life-threatening heart attacks.

However Mr Mole added: “I still have concerns as to whether a viable primary angioplasty centre can be established with sufficient numbers of patients to ensure the highest level of outcomes for patients.

“I would not want to see a half-baked centre with only a couple of hundred patients a year because that would not benefit the people of Ipswich.”

To support the 'Have a Heart' appeal send cheques made payable to Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust to Have a Heart, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or donate money in person at the Star's Ipswich offices.

If you want to start fundraising to help us raise as much money as possible for the hospital, let us know about your event by calling The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or e-mail

Have a Heart appeal

The Evening Star's 'Have a Heart' appeal is raising money to help fund a specialist heart attack centre at Ipswich Hospital

Three high-tech primary angioplasty (PPCI) centres have been set up at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Papworth in Cambridge and Basildon in Essex, but not in Suffolk

From September 1 serious heart attack patients in Suffolk will be sent to these centres, facing much longer journeys for care than people living nearby, and therefore having less chance of survival

Health bosses say Ipswich Hospital does not currently have the infrastructure or staff to provide the service

The Evening Star has been campaigning for a primary angioplasty centre to be set up in Ipswich so residents have the best level of care possible and don't face long journeys for treatment

After successfully changing healthcare policy with our campaign we have now launched the 'Have a Heart' appeal which is raising money to help set up a catheter laboratory at Heath Road

The Star is asking for just one pound from every person who may need care at Ipswich Hospital's cardiac department in the future - which would collect around �350,000

The lab will originally be used to treat non-urgent heart operations but could eventually be expanded into a primary angioplasty centre