Stroke unit closure ‘must be opposed’

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

THE removal of the Stroke and Rehabilitation Unity at Daisy Hill Hospital will disadvantage the people of Newry and must be opposed, a local MLA has warned after the Southern Health Trust launched a public consultation process which proposes to centralise inpatient stroke services in Craigavon.
Under the Trust proposals, Craigavon Area Hospital will be home to a new specialist acute stroke unit with Daisy Hill losing its stroke unit, which currently provides both acute and rehabilitation services.
“The Trust is proposing the development of a specialist acute stroke unit at Craigavon Area Hospital to provide enhanced, evidenced based standards of stroke care for the days immediately following a stroke," Trust chief executive Mairead McAlinden said.
“We are recommending Craigavon Hospital as the location of this new unit because it is the hospital used by the majority of the Trust population and Craigavon also has access to a full range of diagnostic services."
A formal consultation process on the proposals starts this month and will run until October when the Trust will review responses and prepare a final report for a decision to be reached by the Trust Board in November.
The SDLP's Dominic Bradley said such a move would disadvantage people in Newry and Mourne and urged the public to have their say via the consultation process.
He added: "I urge people to participate in the Trust's consultation on the proposed plan and to place on record their emphatic opposition to the move that will only weaken the services provided by the stroke unit in Daisy Hill.
“We must help ensure that the consultation exercise is not simply a fait accompli and that the Trust listens to the people of this area."

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