�400,000 heart appeal launched

The county's flagship hospital and heart attack centre has launched a fundraising appeal to help it buy �400,000 of life-saving equipment.

The Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital has just invested �3.1m in a new angiography suite, but is now appealing for the public's help in finding the money for electro-physiology equipment, which will be used to treat people with abnormal, rapid heart rhythms.

The suite, which was offically opened this week, is already being used to treat heart attack patients using coronary angiography, balloon and stent treatment, and pacemakers, including the type of pacemakers that can deliver life-saving shocks to the heart (ICD).

However, the hospital's cardiology team wants to be able able to do even more and the new suite has been designed to be suitable for electrophysiology.

Patients currently have to travel to Papworth, in Cambridge, for this treatment but the consultant cardiologists at the N&N are aiming to provide this service in Norwich to serve people in Norfolk and north Suffolk.

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Dr Leisa Freeman, clinical director for cardiology at the N&N, said: 'A patient of mine lives in Lowestoft and had to go for ablation to Papworth. He had to leave home at 3.30 in the morning and he didn't get home until 11.30pm.

'Our vision is to deliver this care here in Norwich, for Norfolk patients.'

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The Norfolk Heart Trust (NHT) is supporting the appeal to raise the money and has already donated �100,000. The Geoffrey Watling Charity has also donated �50,000 and another �20,000 has already been raised.

That still leaves approximately �230,000 to find.

Donations can be made by writing a cheque to Norfolk Heart Trust (Sparks 4 Hearts) and sending it to treasurer Dr A J F Page, 215 Unthank Road, Norwich, NR2 2PH. They can also be made by bank transfer to Lloyds TSB sort code 30-96-17, account number 02473424, online at www.norfolkhearttrust.co.uk or via the Just Giving website at www.justgiving.com.

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