Vital cancer services finally scrapped

HEAD and neck cancer surgery has finally been scrapped at Ipswich Hospital.

HEAD and neck cancer surgery has finally been scrapped at Ipswich Hospital.

Operations for the rare cancer will be carried out in Norwich from this week, leaving patients facing long journeys for treatment.

The move was pushed through by East Anglian healthcare chiefs despite overwhelming opposition from clinicians, charities, MPs, patient groups and more than 3,000 people who signed an Evening Star petition.

And the chief executive of Ipswich Hospital, Andrew Reed, admitted it was still unclear what impact the switch would have on the hospital's ability to provide oral and maxillofacial trauma care.

Mr Reed said: “Head and neck cancer surgery will cease to be carried out at Ipswich Hospital.

“Our ear, nose and throat and oral and maxillofacial surgeons will be travelling up on a fortnightly basis to provide surgery. I am very optimistic that it will be a very good and effective integrated team.

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“In terms of head and neck trauma, we will have consultants working at Ipswich when the other surgeons are at Norwich.

“I would not argue that there would not be some fragility in that.”

Meanwhile David Dyer, chairman of the Ipswich Hospital Cancer Services Support Group which campaigned against the move, said the group had been comforted by a visit to the head and neck team at Norwich.

He said: “Seven members of our group went up to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

“The multi-disciplinary team came down and literally filled the room up - it was so large.

“The facilities are absolutely awe-inspiring and we were totally reassured.

“Everything is being done for people to make their treatment and experience as positive as possible.”

Have you had to travel to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital for cancer treatment? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail

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