Date set for heart attack care decision

CAMPAIGNERS fighting proposals to treat serious heart attack victims outside Suffolk will find out next month whether the changes will go ahead or not.

Richard Cornwell

CAMPAIGNERS fighting proposals to treat serious heart attack victims outside Suffolk will find out next month whether the changes will go ahead or not.

It has been announced that heart tsar Professor Roger Boyle will give the findings of his review on July 6 at a special meeting at the Belstead Brook Hotel in Ipswich.

Professor Boyle, national director for heart disease and stroke at the Department of Health, is looking again at the proposed changes to the treatment of those suffering life-threatening heart attacks after the move aroused deep concern and anger.


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Health chiefs want to treat serious heart attack victims at Papworth, Norwich or Basildon hospitals - instead of Ipswich.

But there has been major concerns over the length of time it would take for patients to receive treatment - and it is feared some may not make the 165 minutes permitted from emergency call to operating theatre.

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The time is much longer than that allowed nationally and campaigners say it does not take into account congestion and accidents on the A14, and the difficult road links from rural areas to the main roads.

Patients being taken for angioplasty treatment would also not be allowed clot-busting drugs en route.

Prof Boyle met health officials, council representatives, MPs and campaigners to hear their concerns over the changes - which are currently on hold - and is now considering all the points made.

Sir Neil Mckay, chief executive of NHS East of England, thanked everyone who had attended the review day to enable Prof Boyle to hear their concerns first hand.

“Clearly lessons have been learnt by the NHS about the need for early and comprehensive engagement and joint working with local people, and again on behalf of NHS Suffolk, the Specialised Commissioning Group and NHS East of England we apologise that it did not happen well enough in this case,” he said.

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