SIX thousand people voiced their opposition to the Department of Health's plans to centralise stroke services in Craigavon following an effort by the Support Our Stroke Services Committee.
The committee secured the support of eight shopping centres and supermarkets in the locality to use their premises to allow people to sign a draft consultation reply on Saturday (May 11).
According to the committee, the strategy was “to bring to the attention of location residents the potential impact of the review of strokes services in Northern Ireland by the Department of Health.”
The participating supermarkets on Saturday were The Quays, Buttercrane, SuperValu shops in Newry, Vivo Extra Eurostar and Fresh Foods in Warrenpoint and Hughes Supermarket in Camlough.
The numerous volunteers worked tirelessly to advise shoppers of the possible closure of the Stroke Unit in Daisy Hill Hospital and the need to participate in the consultation, which will close on Friday, July 19.
Approximately 6,000 people completed the consultation reply document in opposition to the recommendations to centralise stroke services in Craigavon Area Hospital.
The Chairman of the Support Our Stroke Services Committee, Eddy Curtis, thanked all the volunteers for assisting in consultation event and stated: “Our committee have now commenced its strategy to combat the proposals contained in the department’s review of stroke services consultation document.
“I would like to congratulate all local shopping centres and supermarkets who provided their facilities willingly to the stroke committee to commence their consultation process.
“This is only the start of our action plan and we will, over the coming weeks, target as many shopping centres etc to provide the opportunity to our residents to reply to the flawed consultation document.
“We will also be contacting numerous other private, educational, rural, community and voluntary organisations to request their support in replying to the consultation document.”
This Friday (May 17) the Support Our Stroke Committee, in association with the Kilkeel Development Association, will be organising a consultation day in the ASDA store in Kilkeel to offer residents the opportunity to reply to the stroke services consultation document.
While on Friday, May 31, Mulkearns Eurostar, Forkhill Road, Newry, will be the venue for another consultation and the committee requests that as many residents in the south Armagh area come out on this day to participate.
If you have completed one of the consultation forms you can submit it into The Newry Democrat office. Just leave it into the blue post box in our reception.