Tide rises against cancer move

ANOTHER wave of opposition is today gathering speed against attempts to move head and neck cancer surgery from Ipswich Hospital.Ben Gummer, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Ipswich, is calling on supporters to sign a petition in the town centre tomorrow to protest against the controversial plans.

ANOTHER wave of opposition is today gathering speed against attempts to move head and neck cancer surgery from Ipswich Hospital.

Ben Gummer, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Ipswich, is calling on supporters to sign a petition in the town centre tomorrow to protest against the controversial plans.

The MP hopeful and other volunteers will be manning a stall on The Cornhill between 10am and 2pm.

Mr Gummer hopes to present the petition to the Department of Health over the coming weeks to emphasise the strong challenges to the Anglia Cancer Network's (ACN) proposals to shift vital care to Norwich.


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Despite overwhelming opposition from clinicians, patients, charities and medical bodies, Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) officially gave its backing to the move on Wednesday.

It also kicks dirt into the wishes of almost 2,500 people who have signed The Evening Star's petition as part of our campaign.

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But the PCT has stressed the need to maintain trauma services at Ipswich, to improve transport for patients, and to allow patients in west Suffolk to be treated in Cambridge if they wanted.

Mr Gummer's Cancer Cuts petition has already secured over 1,000 signatures but he hopes to swell the pages even further to make the government listen.

He said: “Our campaign is receiving a huge amount of support. People are furious. It is clear that the ACN's proposals not only fly in the face of considered medical opinion but are quite contrary to public opinion as well.

“It is imperative that we retain full treatment for cancer patients here in Ipswich. We are seeing the salami slicing of services in the hospital and if we don't act now, it will be reduced to little more than a glorified health clinic.

“The government has said that it will listen - that is what it now needs to do on cancer care in Ipswich.”

The public consultation into the plans ends next Wednesday and a decision will be taken at the ACN's board meeting in July.

Do you think head and neck cancer services should stay at Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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