THE consultation which could close the stroke unit at South West Acute Hospital has been extended for the third time.
The deadline for the consultation on ‘reshaping stroke care’ has now been moved from August 2nd until August 30th.
The consultation, which is being carried out by the Department of Health includes six options on the future of stroke services with four of the six options seeing the closure of the stroke unit at SWAH.
If the stroke unit at SWAH is closed, there are fears that it could result in an increase in fatalities or disabilities if crucial treatment is delayed or made unavailable locally.
Stephen McAloon of Fermanagh Stroke Support Group explained that a lot of hard work has gone into ensuring people get their forms filled out in time for the consultation.
Mr McAloon said, “We thought we would have it all over us this weekend. It is a bit frustrating because we are putting a lot of hard work into the consultation and now there is another extension. It does give us a chance to get more questionnaires done. We hope the Department is taking this seriously and they have assured us that they are going to go through the questionnaires thoroughly.”
“We have already 4,000 forms in, and hopefully we will get another four thousand in now before it closes. If there is anywhere out there that we haven’t covered, let us know and we will cover them,” he added.
In a statement announcing the extension, the Department of Health said,
“The Department has received a number of requests to further extend the public consultation periods on reshaping stroke and breast assessment care. It can now confirm that the consultation closing dates have both been moved back to August 30.
“The Department has repeatedly made clear that it wants as many people as possible to take part in these important consultations. The extensions announced today underline that commitment.”
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