Specialist heart lab bid for Ipswich

IPSWICH Hospital could have a new specialist heart laboratory set up within a year if health bosses back the important project.

IPSWICH Hospital could have a new specialist heart laboratory set up within a year if health bosses back the important project.

The move would be a massive boost to morale at the hospital and the first step in the process of being able to provide the best level of care for emergency heart attack victims at the Heath Road site.

The news follows The Evening Star's campaign for improved heart services at the hospital to treat east Suffolk patients.

At yesterday'smeeting of the Suffolk Health Scrutiny Committee (HSC) the hospital's medical director, Peter Donaldson, revealed a business plan was being put together to create a multi-million pound catheter laboratory (cath lab).

The lab would only be able to perform non-emergency angioplasty procedures for heart patients.

But it provides a glimmer of hope that, if the service were to later expand, emergency heart attack patients could be treated there too - preventing them from travelling to hospitals outside the county.

Most Read

If NHS bosses back the initial plans it would also see more investment in the hospital's cardiac department, which Mr Donaldson admitted was not robust enough at the moment and had recently failed to recruit consultant cardiologists.

He added: “If we get the appropriate support from NHS Suffolk and the Strategic Health Authority it might be possible to fast-track the development of the cath lab to within a year from now.

The source of the funding for the lab, which could cost around �2.5million to set up, has not yet been determined.

The positive news came as councillors on the HSC discussed controversial plans to treat emergency heart attack patients at specialist centres outside Suffolk and backed proposals from heart tsar Professor Roger Boyle that would see patients given clot-busting drugs in the back of ambulances and taken primary angioplasty centres outside Suffolk from September 1 as part of a three-month audit into journey times.

David Yorke-Edwards, the chairman of the HSC, said the move towards creating a cath lab was “a great news story for Ipswich Hospital”.