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Star proves it has a heart as readers raise £30k

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Archant Suffolk’s Evening Star has revealed the first pictures of the new heart centre at Ipswich Hospital – the result of the successful £30,000 Have A Heart campaign fought with Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, Heartbeat East Suffolk and the paper’s readers.

The £30,000 has been used to buy a vital piece of equipment to help treat cardiac patients at the town’s hospital. The multi-million pound unit is set to open its doors to patients later this year.

It comes after the three-year campaign fought by The Star, Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, Heartbeat East Suffolk and thousands of supporters across the county to secure elective heart services at Ipswich Hospital.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Paul Venables said: “Patients will no longer have to travel to a regional centre for this treatment which will make a real difference to both them and their families.

“Coupled with some of the other great service improvements going on in cardiology, it’s a great time to be part of the team.”

Mr Gummer told The Star: “This is a very exciting day for the town: we can see the new centre that we fought for taking shape. It shows that when we make the effort we can win. I will continue to fight for specialist services in Ipswich.”

Jan Ingle, hospital spokeswoman, added: “Money raised by the Have a Heart campaign has funded a portable ultrasound machine for the labs – a vital piece of equipment.

“And a separate donation from Heartbeat East Suffolk has helped transform the centre from a clinical space into a tranquil and welcoming environment for patients. The support has been fantastic.”

Patients needing planned coronary angioplasty – also known as percutaneous coronary intervention or PCI – which involves narrowed arteries being widened in patients at risk of having a heart attack, will be able to be treated at the new centre, built by local company Barnes Construction.

Meanwhile patients needing emergency treatment will still receive care at one of the three regional specialist primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) centres.

Pictured above are members of the cardiac physiology team – John McCarthy, Jane Crawford, Elaine Sykes, Byron South, Sarah Elam, Emma Sanson and Pippa Burman in the Cardiology department at the Ipswich Hospital.

© Archant Ltd 2013