Letters to the Editor, ‘Reshaping Stroke Services in Northern Ireland’

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info@newrytimes.com
Friday, August 18th, 2017
Community, Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I welcome the coverage that you have given to the very important issue of reshaping stroke services across Northern Ireland in recent weeks.

It is important that as many people are aware of the pre-consultation process as possible and have the opportunity to have their say.

Over the last two months we have been holding meetings with stroke survivors, their families, carers, charities, and other key stakeholders to genuinely listen to views, concerns and ideas on how to reshape our stroke services.

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

It is really important to reassure your readers that no decisions have been made about closing or moving services. This process is about getting the best possible insight, particularlyfrom those who have lived with the impact of a stroke,on how best to provide stroke care in the future.

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We fully understand that change is very difficult and there will be fears and concerns about the impact of any changes to services. So it is essential we hear your voice to inform any decisions being made.

One of the key drivers for change is that currently no hospital in Northern Ireland provides full seven day services, either in hospital or the community, or the required staffing levels as recommended in professional guidelines.

We fully acknowledge the excellent care provided by skilled, dedicated and hardworking staffin our stroke teams across NI. However, we want to ensure every patient can avail of specialist 24/7 care and the very latest treatments both in hospital and in the community regardless of where they live.

We now have a unique opportunity to design a new model of stroke care that will reduce disabilities, save lives, and enhance life after stroke for everyone. So tell us what you think.

There will be a public meeting in the Millar Suite, Canal Court Hotel, Newry on 12th September 2017 between 6.30pm and 8.30pm.

For further information go to: www.hscboard.hscni.net/stroke

Iain Deboys – Chair of the Reshaping Stroke Services Group


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