Newry and Armagh MLA Mickey Brady has expressed his bitter disappointment at the announcement by the Southern Health & Social Care Trust that it has approved the development of a single specialist stroke inpatient unit within the Southern Trust at Craigavon Area Hospital. 

The MLA explained "Following a period of public consultation, the Southern Trust Board has approved proposals on the future of stroke care, hospital services for older people and dementia inpatient care. This will mean the Trust states, the development of a single specialist stroke inpatient unit within the Southern Trust at Craigavon Area Hospital, whilst locating  all non-acute inpatient services at Daisy Hill and Craigavon Hospitals, with the development of a new non-acute inpatient unit at Craigavon to replace inpatient services at Loane House, South Tyrone and Lurgan Hospital. We shall also see the relocation of dementia in-patient series from the Gillis Unit, Armagh to a new build at Craigavon" 

Mr Brady continued “Proposals by the Trust to remove the specialist stroke inpatient Unit from Daisy Hill Hospital do not stack up. It is widely recogonised that Daisy Hill in Newry has providesdthe best stroke service in the north.This is evidenced by the fact that in 2011/2012 the average length of stay for stroke patients at Daisy Hill was 17 days whereas at Craigavon Hospital it was 47 days"

The MLA argued “On value for money alone and provision of service the Daisy Hill Unit delivers. The Trust should further invest in and develop the Stroke Unit in Daisy Hill which would result in the provision of increased rapid access to specialist investigation and treatment to all on a regional basis.”

His colleague Newry & Mourne Councillor Mickey Larkin echoed Brady’s sentiments “Sinn Féin wants to see the best possible outcomes for Stroke patients following their hospital treatment.We have spoken to families whose loved ones have suffered strokes and they are telling us that the service provided at Daisy Hill was second to none.They have also said that this decision by the Southern Trust to move services to Craigavon will be extremely traumatic for stroke patient and make it unworkable for families to fully support their loved ones,” said the Newry & Mourne Councillor.

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