The leading local health charity, Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke has welcomed the news that decisions will be made on Stroke Services in the New Year.
Public Affairs Adviser, Neil Johnston welcomed the report:
“We all want the best possible health care for all patients in Northern Ireland and the Health Minister’s response to the Bengoa Report certainly has that as its goal. We look forward to the launch of proposals to revise Stroke Services in February 2017.
“We note that proposals on the location of Elected Care Centres will come forward in another year’s time in October 2017. We had hoped that all these proposals would have come forward sooner however we look forward to the proposals coming forward in due course.”
“When someone has a stroke, it is an extremely upsetting and difficult time for the stroke patient, and their loved ones, so any changes in services naturally evoke a lot of emotion. However, the level of care of the patient must come first and so any change and modernisation of health services must be guided by what is the best clinical guidance and practice.”
NICHS welcomed the outlining of the ‘Criteria for Assessing Sustainability’ which will ultimately decide which hospitals remain as Acute hospitals and which become Elected Care Centres.
Neil Johnston, Public Affairs adviser to NICHS, also commented that:
“We must recognise that treatments have become more specialised – and much better – and that this may require patients to travel further to receive the best treatment available. Delay in bringing forward proposals delays the implementation of change and condemns patients to sub optimal treatment.”
“We would have preferred to have proposals on the Stroke Services Review and on Elected Care Centres to have been launched this year rather than next.”