New ally in hospital fight

Our campaign to keep heart attack treatment at Ipswich Hospital and to boost services at Heath Road generally has a powerful new ally today.

IPSWICH: Our campaign to keep heart attack treatment at Ipswich Hospital and to boost services at Heath Road generally has a powerful new ally today.

Dr Daniel Poulter, a hospital consultant in Surrey, is to make Ipswich Hospital services a key plank of his election campaign as he seeks to win the North Ipswich and Central Suffolk seat for the Conservatives in next year's general election.

During his election hustings on Friday, Dr Poulter made the future of the hospital a key issue in his pitch to voters from the constituency.

He said: “I will fight to ensure the retention of cardiac and cancer care services and to stop their transfer to Norwich, Basildon and Cambridge.”

Fellow Ipswich hopeful Ben Gummer, who hopes to join Dr Poulter on the Tory benches of the Commons after the election, said the two men were already planning a joint campaign.

He said: “I've had a couple of meetings with Dan before he was actually selected and he is very keen to join me in the campaign to retain and improve services at the hospital.

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“Now he has been selected we will be meeting regularly and working very hard on this issue.”

The news comes as Ipswich Hospital takes its place today in the top half of a league table of major hospitals.

The survey by independent health monitor Dr Foster gives Ipswich Hospital an approval and safety rating of 64 per cent - fractionally less than the Norfolk and Norwich on 65 pc but way ahead of the West Suffolk and Colchester hospitals on 35pc.

Basildon and Thurrock Hospital Trust which was slammed by the government's Care Quality Commission last week but where some heart attack patients from Suffolk are taken was right at the bottom on 0pc.

The Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust which runs both Addenbrooke's and Papworth was second in the country on the league table, with a 99pc rating.

Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said: “We are very pleased to be so well placed in this report, but there is no place for complacency.

“It is good to know that the hard work that goes on here is recognised - but it isn't something that we can just sit back and feel satisfied about. It takes a great deal of effort from everyone at the hospital.”