Bantry General Hospital. Pic: Google

MINISTER for Health, Dr James Reilly officially opened the Acute Stroke Unit at Bantry General Hospital on Friday.

The unit is the first of its kind in Cork and Kerry and one of the first such units in the country.

The four-bed specialist unit was established at the end of 2009 without the need for any extra staff by reorganising existing resources and admits more than 100 patients with acute stroke annually.

The unit provides thrombolysis from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and is located next to the Rehabilitation Unit and allows for a seamless transition between acute care and rehabilitation.

Patients of all ages with acute stroke and TIA are treated in the acute stoke unit. Despite a 13 per cent increase in acute stroke admissions since the unit was set up, the total number of beds-days used by patients with acute stroke has declined by 35 per cent and approximately 1,400 bed days have been saved annually as a result.

In addition, a direct telephone access to the lead physician in stroke is also available to the advanced paramedic service which enhances pre-hospital care.

Physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy is co-ordinated through a consultant geriatrician led multidisciplinary team.

Declan Hurley

Speaking at the opening, Chairman of the Friends of Bantry Hospital, Independent councillor Declan Hurley said, “I am delighted the Minister realises the important role Bantry General Hospital plays in providing acute general hospital services to the population of the West Cork area extending to locations as distant as the Beara Peninsula and Mizen Head.

“The hospital provides a comprehensive range of inpatient, outpatient and day case services in accordance with the principles of equity, people centeredness, quality and accountability.

“Bantry General Hospital is at present undergoing exciting new changes due to reconfiguration which will greatly benefits the Southwest and the Ministers’ commitment today now places the Hospital on a firm foundation for the future.”