Councillors condemn 999 heart attack care plan

TOWN leaders have condemned a bid to send urgent heart attack victims outside Suffolk for treatment.

Rebecca Lefort

IPSWICH Borough Council last night issued a resounding message against plans to send urgent heart attack victims outside Suffolk for treatment.

Following a highly charged debate yesterday all the Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors voted in favour of a motion condemning the emergency heart attack move and calling for services at Ipswich Hospital, such as pancreatic cancer surgery, to be protected.

The council's Labour members abstained from the vote, which meant it was passed easily.

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The motion was put forward by councillor Michelle Bevan-Margetts, a former nurse, who spoke passionately during the meeting at Endeavour House, Ipswich.

She told the councillors: “The motion before you is the beginning of a concerted campaign together with all district and county councils within Suffolk to send a very clear message to the government and East of England Strategic Health Authority to provide responsible regional governance with equity for all residents within their remit. That is 'hands of Ipswich and Suffolk healthcare'.”

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Labour councillors put forward an amended motion which welcomed the current review of heart attack care, but it was defeated.

Following the vote Mrs Bevan-Margetts said: “It is a victory for the people of Ipswich. Now officers and councillors and the chief executive of the council have been tasked with getting all the other councils on board to say 'leave our services alone'.

“I'm really pleased that people have stood up and been counted.

“If the whole of Suffolk stands up and says no to these plans then health bosses will have to listen.”

Politicians Chris Mole, MP for Ipswich, and Ben Gummer, his Conservative parliamentary challenger, will now go head-to-head in a public debate over the issue on Sunday evening.

The free event is open to all the public and doors open at Suffolk County Council's Ipswich headquarters from 6.30pm.

For more information about Sunday's debate see page 15 or call Rebecca Lefort on 01473 324802.

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