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Incoming Newry City Councillor Gavin Malone has called for the retention of the stroke unit at Daisy Hill after the Department of Health produced what some are calling a “flawed” consultation document in relation to the services.  The support our stroke services committee have stated that the Department of Health have failed to consider all options available which has become an extremely controversial decision amongst the public.

Speaking on the issue Councillor Malone stated “It is absolutely imperative that we retain the vital stroke unit at Daisy Hill Hospital. To even think that those needing immediate life saving treatment for a stroke may have to travel further afield to Craigavon area hospital is madness.

Cllr Gavin Malone
Cllr Gavin Malone

"I want to take the opportunity to thank the amazing staff in both Daisy Hill and Craigavon Hospitals for all their hard work. These people are a credit to our community and should be commended for their exceptional work and I along with the people of Newry are very proud of them.

However in the instance of stroke, an issue that is time critical it is important that a patient is admitted to the closest Hospital in order to get life saving treatment and to think that if we add more time to that situation by travelling an extra thirty minutes to Craigavon just doesn’t make sense.”

In a consultation document released in March called “reshaping stroke care” the Department of Health proposed six options with Daisy Hill being omitted from all of them. The consultations rural impact assessment mentions that an additional 20minutes is necessary to travel to Craigavon Area Hospital. However Councillor Malone disagrees.

“I completely disagree with the Department of Health’s consultation document. I believe their assessment simply isn’t good enough.  Stroke treatment is time critical, it is a well know medical fact put forward by hundreds of medical professionals around the country that the quicker you treat a stroke patient the better chance they have of survival and the less chance of long term affects of the stroke.

"Furthermore there is no guarantee that it will take twenty minutes to get to Craigavon Area Hospital. The Department of Health has not factored in traffic or even other issues on route to Craigavon such as road works or worse an RTC which may hold up an ambulance on route to the emergency department. It is time the Department of Health realised that it saves time, resources and most importantly lives by retaining the stroke unit at Daisy Hill.

"I will be contacting the Chief Executive of the Southern Area Trust and the Department of Health to arrange a meeting to discuss my concerns.”

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