Serious message among carnival fun

AMID all the fun, carnival revellers at Felixstowe turned their attention to a very serious issue - to back the fight to save head and neck cancer surgery at Ipswich Hospital.

AMID all the fun, carnival revellers at Felixstowe turned their attention to a very serious issue - to back the fight to save head and neck cancer surgery at Ipswich Hospital.

More than 120 people signed The Evening Star's petition as the rain-soaked procession made its way through the resort.

Campaigners had been planning to push a hospital bed through the town in the cavalcade as part if their protest but had to abandon the plan because of the appalling weather.

Instead they used a people carrier and walked, speaking to people along the route to explain the issue and generate greater awareness about the decision to scrap the service at Ipswich and move it to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

More than 3,200 people have signed the Star's petition in the paper or online with more still coming in, despite Suffolk Primary Care Trust rubberstamping the move at its July meeting.

Michael Ninnmey , a health campaigner in Felixstowe and a councillor with Suffolk Coastal council, said: “It was very difficult because of the weather and everyone and everything was getting a bit soggy!

Most Read

“But the support we had from people was excellent and they were very firm in their opinion - that this service should not be moved from Suffolk and should be as close to those who need it as possible.

“We need now to keep pressing this matter with the county's health scrutiny committee because they are the last committee standing, the only one which can do something to alter this situation and we hope they will.”

Mr Ninnmey said another event would be organised in Felixstowe later this month to give people a further chance to sign the petition and air their views.

“From those we spoke to it is clear people in Felixstowe are worried about moving the head and neck cancer service - they will have further than most folk to travel if they or their relatives were to need it,” he said.

Anglia Cancer Network (ACN) wants to move the life-saving head and neck cancer surgery to Norwich, leaving patients with an arduous journey at one of the most stressful times of their lives.

It says the move is needed to comply with national guidelines about the number of patients treated at hospitals.

Are you worried about the decision to move head and neck cancer surgery to Norfolk? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.