Heart tsar told plan will cost lives

HEART tsar Professor Roger Boyle will receive a starkly straightforward Suffolk message during a visit to the county today - this plan will cost lives.

Rebecca Lefort

HEART tsar Professor Roger Boyle will receive a starkly straightforward Suffolk message during a visit to the county today - this plan will cost lives.

Prof Boyle, the national director for heart disease and stroke, is the expert reviewing controversial proposals to move the treatment of serious heart attacks away from Ipswich Hospital or West Suffolk Hospital and out of the county.

Today, during visits to Aldeburgh, Felixstowe and Ipswich, he will be told by concerned doctors, angry community leaders, worried campaigners and distraught patients that the proposals will put lives at risk in east Suffolk.


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During a whistle-stop tour, Prof Boyle will listen to the controversial debate about the plans to treat the most serious heart attacks in Norwich, Papworth in Cambridgeshire, or Basildon, in south Essex, rather than set up a specialist life-saving centre in Suffolk.

Over the past few days the EADT has spoken to a large number of medics, from local GPs to leading hospital consultants, about the proposals. No one we have spoken to supports the plans, and most are convinced that more heart attack victims will die, primarily because of the long journey times for urgent, time-dependant, treatment.

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But none of the doctors feel able to speak publicly because of the intense pressure surrounding the debate, and even at today's event patients will not be able to discover their views, because the public and press have been barred from listening to the clinical arguments.

However, it can be revealed that Dr David Hodgkinson, head of the Accident & Emergency department at Ipswich Hospital, has warned health bosses that death rates among Suffolk heart attack victims will be almost double those in other areas if the plans go ahead because of the huge health inequality the proposals would create.

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