Views from expert medical bodies

IPSWICH Hospital's head and neck cancer team is highly regarded not just by the patients whose lives have been saved by treatment, but by colleagues in the medical world.

IPSWICH Hospital's head and neck cancer team is highly regarded not just by the patients whose lives have been saved by treatment, but by colleagues in the medical world.

Professor Brian Avery, from the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons, said that the move could disrupt the training of specialists needed there for cancer and other treatment, including dealing with crash victims.

He added that with surgeons possibly having to travel from Ipswich to Norwich, should post-operative complications occur it could put patient safety at risk.

Prof Avery said: "Even the best of surgeons will from time to time face post-operative complications which often occur on the first night of surgery.

"It is difficult to comprehend how the surgeons who have spent all day operating could return in the middle of the night when such large distances are involved. This would put patients' safety at risk and this should exclude such surgery being carried out.”

Meanwhile The Mouth Cancer Foundation, which supports people with mouth, throat and other head and neck cancers, also criticised the recommendation to scrap the service at Ipswich

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Dr Vinod Joshi, the foundation's founder, said: “Head and neck surgery is very invasive and debilitating.

"The distance to get to the hospital for visiting hours is too far and this is unacceptable. Everything should be done to try to keep the head and neck surgeries moving from Ipswich Hospital."

And dentists working in the Ipswich area, who will send patients to the hospital if they have concerns about their health, also spoke out.

Alison Brown, from The Dental Surgery in Northgate Street, said: "Although more and more young people are affected by oral or facial cancer, my experience has been with older people.

"In my experience they are quite often caring for an elderly husband or wife. A lot of these people with oral cancer may not be able to speak properly, so it could be a real job getting to Norwich on their own."

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