Lochside Garage

Fate of stroke unit set to be revealed this month


South West Acute Hospital RMGFH

THE review expected to seal the fate of the stroke unit at the South West Acute Hospital, whether for good or ill, is due to be released this month.
It’s almost exactly two years since the Herald revealed the state-of-the-art unit, rated as one of the best of its kind in Europe, was under threat as part of a review of stroke services across the North. This was followed by a public consultation last year.
The news of the threat to the stroke unit was met with outrage here in the county, and last year a public meeting was held at the Killyhevlin Hotel calling for the retention of the life-saving service as part of the consultation.
Now, the report on that consultation is expected to be published this month, June.
MLA Rosemary Barton said: “Whatever the outcome of that consultation it is vital that the people of the Fermanagh and wider area continue to press for this centre of excellence to remain in the County.
“This trend towards centralisation of services I believe pays more attention to the so called benefits of centralisation, to the extent of ignoring the fact that delays in reaching hospitals can contribute to preventable deaths, because of factors including time, distance and the conditions of some of our road network.”
Ms Barton added: “Little attention was given to the actual demographics of the population in an area or where they live. In Fermanagh for example there is a growing older population than around the cities, and while recognising the fact that younger people also have strokes the majority of strokes are within the older population, some of whom in Fermanagh tend to live perhaps alone and or in isolated areas where even mobile communication is a major problem.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA