Resort backs joint heart centre

COMMUNITY leaders in Felixstowe are backing suggestions that a joint emergency heart attack centre should be set up to serve the Ipswich and Colchester areas.

COMMUNITY leaders in Felixstowe are backing suggestions that a joint emergency heart attack centre should be set up to serve the Ipswich and Colchester areas.

Town councillors believe a service operated sometimes at the Essex hospital and other times from Suffolk would enable it to be set up and run cost-effectively for a big enough catchment area.

It would also mean much shorter journey times for people in east Suffolk suffering a life-threatening heart attack.

Felixstowe councillor and former mayor Andy Smith said a radical approach was needed to improve the service and he felt a joint service between Ipswich and Colchester - as put forward by Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer - would “make so much sense”.


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“At the end of the day we want the best service for the Ipswich area - because Felixstowe people look to Ipswich Hospital for these services - and an Ipswich-Colchester operation could be the best solution,” he said.

“A different approach is needed but at the moment no-one seems to be tackling it and looking at it in this way.

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“We need to get this view across to the people who are making the decisions.”

Councillors agreed to discuss the issue further and push the joint service idea forward at every possible forum.

Under the changes to care, serious heart attack victims will be taken to specialist primary angioplasty (PPCI) centres outside Suffolk at either Norwich, Papworth or Basildon.

Professor Roger Boyle, the national heart tsar, has ordered a thorough audit of previously-untested journey times, because of fears that long delays before treatment would put patients at risk.

He also called on health bosses in the east to start working towards the possibility of creating a specialist heart attack centre at Ipswich Hospital, a move which had previously been resisted.

Tell us your experiences of heart attack treatment - write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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