Fears valuable health professionals will be lost here

THE loss of the stroke unit at SWAH will also result in the loss of experienced staff in the Western Trust, warned an experienced physiotherapist. 
Ciaran Daly, a clinical specialist physiotherapist who has worked in the stroke services for more than 20 years spoke out at the meeting to oppose the closure of SWAH’s stroke unit. 
He asked the panellist if they had even considered the impact of a closure on staff. 
“If stroke services are moved from the Fermanagh and Omagh area, how on earth can we sustain an isolated stroke team? Have you even bothered thinking about the loss of stroke staff in this area? We will have no local stroke consultation and no local stroke unit. Who would want to work in such a team. Staff will be isolated, forgotten about and completely demoralised. 
The current staff will not travel three hours a day to go to another unit due to family commitments, children and other reasons. In fact, you will lose experienced staff that will be extremely hard to recruit in this area.”
Junior doctor Paddy Gallogly also took to his feet to explain that he also worked in London where stroke services have also been reshaped. He explained that there are eight hyperacute stroke units, but there are still 24 other acute stroke units where people get transferred after 48 or 72 hours and have the majority of their stroke care. 
“I am one of the junior doctors who has been lucky enough to work in the stroke unit at SWAH. The hyper acute unit in London is sustainable because people only stay there for a maximum of 72 hours, and then they are moved to a local hospital. That’s why there are always beds available there. 
“People get the majority of their stroke care close to their home, and in the options where SWAH is not included, you are denying people from this area the chance to get their rehabilitation closer to home. Yes, the hyperacute part of the service might work better but that is a very brief part of someone’s stroke journey. They need to be rehabilitated close to their home.”

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