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A team of Sinn Féin MPs including Newry and Armagh MP, Mickey Brady have met with the Stroke Association to discuss the urgent need for action on stroke services and aftercare. The MPs have also written to the Health Minister Robin Swann to raise these concerns.

The Newry and Armagh public representative said “It is very concerning to hear that stroke services across the north are currently spread too thin and that many units are struggling to maintain the quality care and staffing levels required.

Mickey Brady MP

“While there is appreciation that the pandemic response has been to the fore, there remains an unacceptable variation in the standards and accessibility for stroke care services. When 20% of all stroke patients are eligible for the clot-busting drug thrombolysis but the numbers receiving it range from 22% in one stroke unit to 7% in another; something is clearly wrong.

"The Department of Health needs to, as a matter of urgency, transform the wider stroke pathway including community and rehabilitation services in partnership with the people who use and deliver stroke services to create a sustainable and high-quality service for everyone affected by stroke.

"The Department must also outline a timescale for ‘Reshaping Stroke Care’, which has been on pause for over a year now. In the south, stroke improvement plans have managed to continue alongside the pandemic.

“A stroke has more than just a physical impact and has considerable cognitive and psychological repercussions on a stroke survivor, it is a life changing event that can happen to anyone. 

"Sinn Féin will continue to press for increased attention to be given to the emotional and psychological support needs of stroke survivors and their family members and carers." 

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