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Consultation deadline extended on controversial breast cancer and stroke proposals

Deadline for public to have say pushed back by fortnight

Breast Cancer Centre Craigavon Hospital

Public consultation on proposed controversial changes to both breast cancer assessment and stroke services locally has been extended.

Originally, a July 19 deadline had been set.

But given the volume of views on the proposals, the Department of Health has now extended the public consultation period by a fortnight.

There are moves to cut the number of breast assessment units from five to three, with both Craigavon Area Hospital and Belfast City Hospital’s units earmarked for closure.

And under the separate ‘Re-shaping Stroke Care’ consultation, Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry would lose its Stroke Unit as it is not included in any of the options brought forward.

The Department of Health is currently holding public engagement events on proposals to ‘re-shape’ stroke and breast assessment care.

The deadline for responses has now been moved back to Friday, August 2.

The move has been welcomed by Sinn Fein MLA Megan Fearon.

She said: “From the start, we have challenged the department to provide the public with the relevant information in terms of its processes and the evidence base for its proposals.

“Transformation of health and social care is needed if we are to achieve better health outcomes – but changes to services must be done in partnership with staff, service users and communities. 

“There has been huge public interest in this consultation and it’s welcome that the Department will host an extra public information session in Enniskillen, allowing the community to have their say. 

“Sinn Féin will continue to seek answers on the proposals and would encourage members of the public to attend upcoming public engagements.”

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