Town leader gets behind heart campaign

SUPPORT is rolling in for the 'Have a Heart' appeal today, as a key politician put her money where her mouth is.The leader of Ipswich Borough Council, Liz Harsant, has thrown her weight behind the campaign, donating money to help Ipswich Hospital and pledging to keep the pressure on health bosses to give Suffolk patients the best chance of life.

SUPPORT is rolling in for the 'Have a Heart' appeal today, as a key politician put her money where her mouth is.

The leader of Ipswich Borough Council, Liz Harsant, has thrown her weight behind the campaign, donating money to help Ipswich Hospital and pledging to keep the pressure on health bosses to give Suffolk patients the best chance of life.

The appeal wants to raise money to help the Heath Road hospital set up a specialist catheter laboratory (cath lab) so it can treat more serious heart problems. Eventually the lab could be expanded to provide emergency heart attack care, so patients don't face journeys to Norwich, Papworth or Basildon.

So far more than �7,000 has been collected from individual donations.

Mrs Harsant said: “I think it's wonderful how generous people are being. I am surprised because there are so many demands on people's money during the recession, but this is such an important issue for people in Ipswich.

“A lot of people have had experience themselves of a heart attack, or know someone who has, so it becomes particularly important for them.

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“I will give the campaign all the support in the world and will champion it in the council.

“I hope we can make a real difference.”

To support the 'Have a Heart' appeal send cheques made payable to Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust to Have a Heart, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN, or donate money in person at the Star's Ipswich offices.

If you want to start fundraising to help us raise as much money as possible for the hospital, let us know about your event by calling The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

Have a Heart appeal

The Evening Star's 'Have a Heart' appeal is raising money to help fund a specialist heart attack centre at Ipswich Hospital

Three high-tech primary angioplasty (PPCI) centres have been set up at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Papworth in Cambridge and Basildon in Essex, but not in Suffolk

From September 1 serious heart attack patients in Suffolk will be sent to these centres, facing much longer journeys for care than people living nearby, and therefore having less chance of survival

Health bosses say Ipswich Hospital does not currently have the infrastructure or staff to provide the service

The Evening Star has been campaigning for a primary angioplasty centre to be set up in Ipswich so residents have the best level of care possible and don't face long journeys for treatment

After successfully changing healthcare policy with our campaign we have now launched the 'Have a Heart' appeal which is raising money to help set up a catheter laboratory at Heath Road

The Star is asking for just one pound from every person who may need care at Ipswich Hospital's cardiac department in the future - which would collect around �350,000

The lab will originally be used to treat non-urgent heart operations but could eventually be expanded into a primary angioplasty centre