Fermanagh people are urged to come out in force ahead of tonight’s crucial public meeting on the future of Enniskillen’s under threat stroke unit.
There are growing concerns that the stroke unit at SWAH will be closed or downgraded as part of a major review – a move which could result in fatalities if crucial treatment is delayed or made unavailable locally.
A public meeting on proposals to ‘reshape’ stroke services across the North is being held at the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, tonight (Wednesday) at 7pm and hundreds are expected to voice their opposition to changes to the stroke service.
The proposals include six options with four of the options including the removal of the stroke ward at SWAH.
A new network of ‘Hyperacute stroke units’ is proposed and the Department claim this ‘ensures patients have access to the best possible care in regional centres of excellence.’
In September 2017, over 600 people attended a highly charged and emotive meeting in Enniskillen, and two years on the fight to save the service continues.
Coa woman Ciara Murray, who had a stroke four years ago, credits the stroke unit at SWAH for saving her life.
“Retaining this service is a matter of life or death. We need to keep our stroke services or people will not make it to other hospitals in time.”
Due to the unprecedented demand, a second public meeting has been organised at the Killyhevlin Hotel for July 3rd at 7pm.
Despite the most recent Pathfinder update report detailing that the stroke unit ‘is the best in the North,’ there are strong concerns that the service will be downgraded or removed from SWAH.
Stephen McAloon, pictured left, of Fermanagh Stroke Support Group has asked everyone to come out and fight for the retention of stroke services.
“It is absolutely essential that we retain stroke services at SWAH. I would like to encourage everyone who can come out, to do so. We need to get as many people out to the meeting as possible. This is our chance to get our message through to the Department that we will not give up our stroke unit. We are also calling on all stroke survivors and carers to attend as we will have the front seats reserved for them.”