Heart tsar to visit Suffolk

BRITAIN'S national heart tsar will join the debate over Suffolk's heart attack care when he visits the county next week.

Rebecca Lefort

BRITAIN'S national heart tsar will join the debate over Suffolk's heart attack care when he visits the county next week.

Professor Roger Boyle, the national director for heart disease and stroke, will be immersing himself in the controversy on Thursday during a series of meetings with medics, patients and health managers.

Prof Boyle has been charged with conducting the review which will determine whether emergency heart attack patients in Suffolk will have to travel to Norfolk, Cambridgeshire or Essex for treatment, as has been proposed by the East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA).


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The plans caused outrage among patients and the review was ordered with just ten days before the proposals were due to come into effect on June 1.

The county-wide arguments have now reached the national stage and the country's top cardiologist, Prof Boyle, is personally stepping in.

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He will visit Ipswich from 9.15am to 4.30pm and will speak to doctors and managers from Ipswich Hospital, West Suffolk Hospital and Colchester Hospital.

Dozens of health managers will be part of the day, many of whom have been involved in making and defending the initial decision.

Len Tate, vice president of the cardiac patient group Heartbeat East Suffolk, will give a presentation about his group's opposition to the SHA's plans, and Anne Nicholls from the Suffolk Local Involvement Network will also speak.

During a 'hear the facts' session, which will be chaired by the chief executive of NHS Suffolk, Carole Taylor-Brown, MPs John Gummer and Chris Mole will also speak.

The discussions will be held at Ipswich's Belstead Brook Hotel, while there will also be visits to Ipswich Hospital as well as Aldeburgh and Felixstowe.

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