NI Cardiac Patients Forum conference

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THE Northern Ireland Cardiac Patients’ Forum, the voice of the cardiac patients in Northern Ireland held its conference at the Royal Court Hotel, Portrush on Wednesday, March 2. It was attended by representatives of the Cardiac Support Groups throughout NI.

The Officers and members of the Forum would like to thank all the companies and individuals in the Causeway area for their kind sponsorship of this conference without it could not have been held.

Guest speakers were Dr Miriam McCarthey, Director of the Secondary Care Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety. She gave a very comprehensive overview of the Health Service as it is at present in Northern Ireland.

Mr Bob Phipps, an undersecretary with the Health Development Agency gave a talk on alcohol and drug abuse and his department’s efforts to eradicate this problem in younger people.

Lynn Charlton, Clinical cardiology co-ordinator Belfast Trust gave a talk on the pilot scheme to have heart patients presenting to hospital within two hours referred for primary angioplasty this is at the Royal Victoria Site only.

Stephenie Leckey from BR Heart Foundation NI told the conference that prior to the Assembly elections in May 2011, BHF NI is calling on all politicians to commit to tackling heart and circulatory disease in NI.

She said the Heart Foundation want to see the premature mortality rates from these conditions reduced to one of the lowest in Western Europe by 2020.

Other invited guests at the conference were Ms Gillian Patchett NI Chest Heart and Stroke and Mr Tom McElhinney Area Services Manager NI Chest Heart and Stroke Association.