Blow for battle to save cancer surgery

HEALTH bosses have dealt a blow to campaigners desperate to save head and neck cancer surgery at Ipswich Hospital today.

Rebecca Lefort

HEALTH bosses have dealt a blow to campaigners desperate to save head and neck cancer surgery at Ipswich Hospital today.

This afternoon the Anglia Cancer Network (ACN) voted to move the surgery to Norwich, ignoring the views of clinicians, patient groups, politicians, medical experts and the 3,000 people who have signed The Evening Star's petition.

The decision was expected, as the ACN has been pushing hard for the move, and had said in its board papers that despite the overwhelming opposition expressed during the consultation it intended to press ahead.


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But Peter Espley, of the Ipswich Hospital Cancer Services User Group, said he was still saddened to see it rubberstamped.

He said: “I'm disappointed and particularly disappointed at their (ACN's) attitude.

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“Patients, carers, and families have made their views clear but have been completely ignored.

“I'm truly disappointed and angry at the way that it has been done. It shows a total disrespect of people's feelings and opinions.

“It's been a complete sham. What is happening to head and neck surgery is almost taking second place to the way we've been treated. People are so angry at the arrogance of the ACN.”

Following the ACN's private Newmarket meeting today Suffolk Primary Care Trust, which has already given its support to the proposals, will discuss the issue and make a final decision at its board meeting on July 30.

That decision could be challenged by Suffolk County Council's health scrutiny committee which could decide to refer it to the secretary of state.

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