Heart tsar's decision due today

A VERDICT on controversial plans to change the way heart attack patients are treated in Suffolk will be delivered today.

Russell Claydon

A VERDICT on controversial plans to change the way heart attack patients are treated in Suffolk will be delivered today.

In what is being billed as d-day for patients, national heart tsar Roger Boyle will report back on his review of the plans to treat people outside the county.

Prof Boyle was tasked with studying the best way to deliver urgent heart attack care after an outcry from patients and the public about NHS plans to treat them in Cambridgeshire or Essex.


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At 2pm this afternoon he will deliver his view at the Belstead Brook Hotel in Ipswich. But his decision will still be open to scrutiny with Suffolk County Council's health scrutiny committee due to meet later this month.

It comes after proposals to send emergency heart attack patients to specialist primary angioplasty (PPCI) centres in Norwich, Papworth in Cambridgeshire, or Basildon in Essex, instead of to Ipswich Hospital.

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Health bosses argued they would receive a better standard of care than currently on offer but there has been widespread condemnation of the plans and the way the public was not consulted on them.

The issue stirred such feelings amongst local politicians and the public that a debate was held on the issue in Ipswich last week chaired by former Suffolk fire chief, Malcolm Alcock.

Nearly 200 people turned out to listen to the arguments for and against the plans at Suffolk County Council's Endeavour House headquarters.

At the debate Conservatory Parliamentary Candidate Ben Gummer said that a specialist PPCI centre should also be set up in Ipswich - which health bosses say is unfeasible - so people have the same access to high-quality care wherever they live.

Chris Mole, the Labour MP for Ipswich, has continually said the plans put forward are the best option to treat heart attack patients and that PPCI centres cannot be set up everywhere.

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