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Future of stroke services in Omagh unclear

A CAMPAIGN group seeking the retention of stroke services in Tyrone and Fermanagh is urging local people take part in a consultation on the issue.

The Department of Health this week announced details of its ‘Reshaping Stroke Care’ public engagement events which take place at a number of venues until the consultation closes on July 19.

However, local people will have to register online and travel to the Killyhevlin Hotel in Enniskillen or venues in Belfast, Downpatrick, Coleraine and Newry if they want to participate as there is no event scheduled in the Omagh district.

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Of the six options being outlined by the Department for Health, four are proposing the removal of the highly regarded stroke unit at the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen (SWAH).

The chairman of Unison in Tyrone and Fermanagh, Andy McKane, has warned that the removal of stroke services, including rehab beds at the Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex, would have a “disastrous impact.”

Stephen McAloon from the Fermanagh Stroke Group is also urging local people to come out in force to defend local stroke services at the SWAH and in Omagh.

He said that the group would be offering information and advice these stroke services at an events in Trillick on July 3 between 6-9pm and also in Omagh on a date and at a venue to be confirmed.

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MLA, Catherine Kelly, said questions about the reshaping of stroke and breast assessment services remain unanswered.

“In the upcoming public engagements, Sinn Féin will be seeking answers and we would urge members of the public to attend,” she said.

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