The campaign to save older people’s services at Loane House, Dungannon stepped up a gear when a high powered Sinn Féin delegation from Fermanagh & South Tyrone met with the Minister for Health, Jim Wells.
Bronwyn McGahan MLA who has spearheaded the campaign in the Assembly as well as in the community was joined by her party colleague and constituency MP, Michelle Gildernew at the Stormont meeting.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Ms McGahan said: “Given the trend for year on year increases in the number of stroke victims in the Southern Trust area and the link to an ageing population, I took the opportunity to bring the important matter of matching the need for stroke bed provision and the high incidence of strokes in our community to the minister’s attention.
“I am very pleased to report that Minister Wells has committed to undertake further study regarding the figures I brought to his attention during today’s meeting.
“Issues of rurality, particularly in relation to access to transport provision and support services for patients families were raised by myself in a subsequent Assembly debate, when I further emphasised points during the course of the important and timely meeting with the health minister.”
Strongly calling for the retention of crucial older people’s services currently provided by a “team of dedicated health professionals at Loane House”, Michelle Gildernew MP stated: “The thousands of people who from throughout South Tyrone signed the petition to save Loane House point to the high regard that the health professionals who work in Loane Services are held. They also point to the extensive range of services provided as well as the great opportunities for rehabilitation.
“The many families from this area who have experienced the benefits of having Loane House located in their local community are continually sending us messages of support in terms of our efforts to keep it opened. Dungannon and its neighbouring villages, hamlets and dispersed rural communities depend on having access to premier healthcare and support services as provided by the caring staff at Loane House.
“ The campaign to save Loane House and have its services protected will intensify in the weeks and months ahead...”