Protestors head to Downing Street

SUFFOLK'S heart attack debate has made its way to Downing Street.More than 24,000 petitions voicing opposition to plans to treat emergency victims outside Suffolk were delivered to Number 10, the home of prime minister Gordon Brown, yesterday.

SUFFOLK'S heart attack debate has made its way to Downing Street.

More than 24,000 petitions voicing opposition to plans to treat emergency victims outside Suffolk were delivered to Number 10, the home of prime minister Gordon Brown, yesterday.

The Evening Star, which has been leading the fight for specialist heart attack care to be available in Ipswich, was represented by health reporter Rebecca Lefort, who joined Len Tate and Tony Hawes from cardiac support group Heartbeat East Suffolk, and Conservative parliamentary candidate, Ben Gummer, in delivering the staggering collection of petitions to London.

The signatures show an overwhelming opposition to moves to whisk patients to life-saving centres in Norwich, Papworth in Cambridgeshire, or Basildon in Essex, giving people living near the new hubs a better chance of life.

Beleaguered Mr Brown receives numerous petitions on pressing issues, but rarely one with such a huge number of signatories.

On the official Number 10 website only five e-petitions, of more than 4,700, have more support than the rallying cry against Suffolk's heart attack lottery.

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The Star hopes he will realise that implementing the current plans would be against the wishes of the people of Ipswich, and step in to call a halt before it is too late.

The outpouring comes before Professor Roger Boyle, the national heart tsar, is due to return to Ipswich on Monday to deliver his verdict on the future of heart attack care in the county.

Len Tate, vice-president of Heartbeat East Suffolk, said: “We are pleased that we could bring the petition to Number 10 and we hope that all our efforts will be looked at in the proper way, that they look at it honestly and transparently.”

Ben Gummer, who has been campaigning for a specialist heart centre to be set up in Ipswich, said: “The Prime Minister has said repeatedly that he wants to listen to the public. There can be no louder voice than that of Ipswich judging by the number of signatures.”

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