DAISY Hill Hospital, Newry
STROKE services at Daisy Hill are set to be scrapped under new proposals from the Department of Health.
The Department of Health revealed a consultation on reshaping stroke services this morning, in which six potential new models of care are presented.
Daisy Hill is one of eight hospitals in Northern Ireland which provide Thrombolysis, a life-saving treatment where blood clots formed in blood vessels are broken down using medication.
Daisy Hill looks set to lose its stroke unit as it does not feature in the proposals for a Hyperacute Stroke Unit or Acute Stroke Unit.
The unit was proposed for closure back in 2014 when the Southern Trust wanted to create a single specialist stroke inpatient unit for the Southern area, based at Craigavon Hospital.
After the plans for the single unit were sent to the Department of Health for consideration, service provision remained unchanged. Ever since then acute stroke services have carried on at both Daisy Hill and Craigavon.
The Department of Health's Permanent Secretary, Richard Pengelly, said: “We have an exciting opportunity to change services for the better, protecting many more people from the devastating consequences of stroke.
“We can’t secure these improvements without reshaping current provision.
“Our hospital stroke services are currently too thinly spread. Too many units are struggling to maintain sustainable quality care and staffing levels.
“Establishing Hyperacute Stroke Units is vital to ensure we keep pace with advances in treatment and provide the best possible treatment.
“The principle of consolidating care is backed by stroke charities, expert research and the proven success of reforms introduced in London and Manchester.”
The consultation on Reshaping Stroke Care will run for 12 weeks. It follows a pre-consultation by the Health & Social Care Board and Public Health Agency in 2017.
The public consultation report is available at: www.health-ni.gov.uk/rehaping-stroke-care