LETTERKENNY University Hospital is to finally get its long-awaited Acute Stroke Unit.
Funding of €200,000 has been approved and hopes are high that the unit will be operational by this summer.
The issue was raised by way of a motion from Carndonagh-based Sinn Féin Councillor Doherty at yesterday’s Regional Health Forum West.
Ann Cosgrove, Chief Operations Officer of the Saolta University Health Care Group, informed Cllr Doherty that the €200,000 of funding had been secured.
Cllr Doherty confirmed that the recruitment of staff to be deployed to the unit will begin shortly.
“This is certainly the commencement of very positive news,” Cllr Doherty told Donegal Daily.
“It is envisaged that eventually there will be an eight-bed unit. This funding will allow for some staff recruiting to begin.
“While this does not allow for additional therapy support, that is lobbying for another day.
“The funding will enable the commencement and engagement on the first part of the staff recruiting to get the uni operating by May or June.”
In his motion to yesterday’s meeting, Cllr Doherty asked: ‘That the HSE and incoming government provide and deliver for LUH a new stroke unit, ensuring the immediate commitment from government and the HSE, to open a fully-funded, fully staffed Acute Stroke Unit at LUH for the people of the North West’.
LUH is currently the only acute hospital in Ireland that doesn’t have a vital Acute Stroke Unit.
Earlier this month, 1,000 protestors walked the grounds of the hospital demanding that a stroke unit be opened at LUH.
The protest was led by Consultant Geriatrician Professor Ken Mulpeter, who said the lack of basic services caused as many as 16 deaths or severe disabilities per year.
Cllr Doherty said: “I do believe that the role played by the people, the support from Donegal County Council and the issues that Mr Mulpeter brought to the fore has pushed this along.
“That there is no stroke support in Donegal currently is medically unjustified.”
In 2019, LUH had as many as 170 stroke patients.
An eight-bed dedicated unit was agreed for prior to the hospital flooding in 2013. It is said that three nurses, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist and a health care assistant would be needed to open a unit.Tags: