The Department of Health has announced a further engagement event on reshaping breast assessment care at the Canal Court Hotel in Newry 23 July from 7 to 9pm

Department of Health Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly said: “The Department has clearly demonstrated its commitment to intensive public engagement on proposals to reshape services.

“The consultation periods have now been extended twice – to help ensure as many people as possible can participate in the process and make their views known."

Proposals have been made to take breast assessment services away from Daisy Hill Hospital
Proposals have been made to take breast assessment services away from Daisy Hill Hospital

The Project Board that informed the breast assessment consultation included three patients with lived experience of the service. In addition, surveys were sent to a provincewide sample of service users who had attended an assessment clinic. Patient focus groups and public meetings were also arranged.

The proposals to reshape stroke care follow a pre-consultation process undertaken in 2017 by the Health and Social Care Board and the Public Health Agency. Almost 8,000 responses to that pre-consultation were received.

The Reshaping Stroke Care proposals involve specialised Hyperacute Stroke Units offering 24/7 access to faster diagnosis and cutting edge treatments. The central aim of the planned reforms is to significantly reduce disability and save more lives.

The proposals for breast assessment would see services being consolidated on three hospital sites - to help improve waiting times for patients waiting to find out if they have cancer.

Both public consultations have now been extended and run until Friday 2 August.

MP Mickey Brady welcomed the move saying "I welcome the decision from the Department of Health to add an extra date to its series of public meetings on the future of breast and stroke services.

"I had previously raised concerns that the initial list of public consultation meetings on the future of breast services did not include a meeting in Newry.

"I called on the Department of Health to review this decision and add a public meeting in Newry given the level of concerns about the future of breast services locally.

"I am pleased that the Department has now added a public meeting in the Canal Court Hotel, Newry, on Tuesday, July 23rd from 7pm to 9pm.

"I would encourage anyone in the Newry area who is concerned about the future of breast services to go along to the meeting and make their voice heard."

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