Reacting to the PHA press release. Neil Johnston, Public Affairs and Policy Manager for Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke commented
“We very much welcome the fact that the health service has recognised that the failure to act FAST is leading to death and increased disability across Northern Ireland.”
“We too are deeply worried by the significant reduction in the number of stroke admissions and the slump in the numbers receiving clot-busting medicines. Strokes obviously continue to happen regardless of Covid, and the worry is if people are not being admitted and treated then they are more likely either to die or to suffer greater disability.”
“We would encourage everyone experiencing symptoms of a stroke to act FAST and call 999 Immediately to access urgent stroke care
“We have got to get this message over to the public and would urge government to promote the FAST message to the public in a full blown FAST publicity campaign involving a range of outlets such as TV, radio, newspapers, billboards, bus shelters, social media and other community channels.”
Dr Aaron Peace, Consultant Cardiologist at Altnagelvin Hospital added.
“While clearly, we need people to adhere to the public health messages, they must also understand that A & E remains open and available. Seek medical attention if you have symptoms that worry you so that you can access urgent care or indeed be reassured.”
Contact Neil Johnston for more information on 07971 256671.