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Have your say on stroke services, public urged

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

THE chairperson of Daisy Hill Action group has urged people to attend a public meeting in Newry on the future of Stroke Services in Northern Ireland.

The meeting, which will be held in the Canal Court hotel on September 12 between 6.30 and 8.30pm, is part of a pre-consultation process which has been taking place over the last two months, and which has organised by the Health and Social Care Board.

As part of that process, meetings have been held with stroke survivors, their families, carers, charities, and other key stakeholders.

Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke, on behalf of Health and Social Care, will also be running a series of public meetings in September across Northern Ireland to provide the public with an independent and impartial opportunity to have their voices heard.

"It's very important because it's the pre-consultation which will lead to a full consultation on the future of the stroke unit at Daisy Hill hospital," said Mr Gallagher.

"And we were invited along to a meeting with the council last Thursday to help formulate a council response to these proposals for these Hyper Acute Stroke Units, or HASU's as they're known, and that are going to be established in the province.

"Basically what we're saying is that one of those HASU units has to be located at Daisy Hill, because Daisy Hill is already doing specialist stroke work.

"[With] these specialist HASU units - the whole idea with them is to extend the opening [to] seven days a week.

"And at the moment, there's no place, not even Craigavon, that I'm aware of that does that."

Mr Gallagher said that he had some "absolutely brilliant facts and figures" about the numbers of people who have had strokes and who used Daisy Hill hospital to recuperate.

These figures are up-to-date 2016 figures.

"About 81 percent of all of those stroke patients came from within 30 minutes driving distance of Newry," he said.

"Apparently, if you don't get this thrombolysis injection within 30 minutes - there are so many millions of brain cells die by the time you'd be on the road to Craigavon or the Royal.

"So we're back to this time critical argument again. They would have to get this thrombolysis injection as soon as possible.

"We have been informed that one of the best ways to keep the Emergency Department open at Daisy Hill would be to have a specialist stroke unit at Daisy Hill.

"So we would urge people to go along to this public meeting as well to guarantee the future status of the hospital.

"It would be very important to do that and to reply to the pre-consultation that's out now."

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