Fermanagh and Omagh District Council will tell the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) that it “totally opposes” any reduction to services at the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH).

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In its draft response to the Health and Social Care Board’s Reshaping Stroke Services pre-consultation document, the Council has refuted the health body’s claims that “no stroke unit in Northern Ireland is achieving an A or B grade [or] is consistently achieving the standards of care that we desire for our population.”

The Health and Social Care Board’s statement related to the results of the April 2015-April 2016 Stroke Sentinel National Audit (SSNA) report. 
However, FODC, points out that the SSNA’s December 2016-March 2017 report found that South West Acute Hospital was the only hospital in Northern Ireland to be awarded an overall B Grade. 

It also scored an A grade in relation to the administration of Thrombolysis, achieving the lysing of 20 per cent of all Ischaemic strokes and 18 per cent of all stroke admissions with a median door to needle time of 22 minutes. 

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“Without the services provided by the South West Acute Hospital, as reflected in the high grades awarded, the Stroke Pathway journey would be critically impacted for all service users, their carers and their families,” the Council will state.

The Council will also say there is “a clear imperative to examine cross border cooperation in the provision of acute services in order to enhance the viability of hospitals in the border region.”

The Council’s message to the Health and Social Care Board is: “It is critically important to base any future decisions on service design on empirical evidence supporting not only the retention of stroke services within the South West Acute Hospital, but the enhancement which would recognise the Unit as a Centre of Excellence.”

In its conclusion, the Council will tell the Health and Social Care Board that: “Council totally opposes any potential diminution of the services provided in the South West Acute Hospital which will further exacerbate health inequalities, particularly for the most disadvantaged people in the council district.”