25/06/2019

Engagement To Continue On Breast & Stroke Services

The Department of Health has announced three additional public engagement events for the reshaping of stroke and breast assessment services.

The proposed changes to stroke care would involve hyperacute units offering 24/7 access to faster diagnosis and cutting edge treatments, while breast assessments would be consolidated on three hospital sites in a bid to improve waiting times for patients awaiting diagnosis.

Public consultation on both proposals will run until Friday 02 August. The newly confirmed events are as follows:

• City Hotel L'Derry, 22 July- both stroke and breast assessment consultations

• Canal Court Hotel Newry, 23 July- reshaping breast assessment care

• Strangford Arms Hotel Newtownards, 24 July- reshaping stroke care

Department of Health Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly said: "The Department has clearly demonstrated its commitment to intensive public engagement on proposals to reshape services.
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"The consultation periods have now been extended twice – to help ensure as many people as possible can participate in the process and make their views known.

"We arranged engagement events in each of the health and social care trust areas and have now added further dates to the schedule.

"We have been keen to respond positively to the very welcome levels of public interest in these consultations.

"I would again encourage everyone to take part – by attending the events and making submissions online or by post."

Mr Pengelly also highlighted the engagement with service users and the public undertaken before the proposals were issued for consultation.

The Project Board that informed the breast assessment consultation included three patients with lived experience of the service. In addition, surveys were sent to a province-wide sample of service users who had attended an assessment clinic. Patient focus groups and public meetings were also arranged.

The proposals to reshape stroke care follow a pre-consultation process undertaken in 2017 by the Health and Social Care Board and the Public Health Agency. Almost 8,000 responses to that pre-consultation were received.



(JG/CM)

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