Hyperacute Stroke Care - Getting Involved

Date published: 16 May 2024

The Department of Health believes that the introduction of Hyperacute Stroke Care in Northern Ireland (NI) will significantly improve outcomes for stroke patients in NI.


Member specification

The Hyperacute Stroke Project Board, chaired by the Department of Health, has been tasked with leading a process to enable the identification of a preferred Hyperacute Stoke Care Network. This will set out how many hospital sites should provide acute stroke services in the future and the best location for those sites.

In January 2024, the Project Board agreed the process by which the preferred Network will be identified. The process is based on three phases that will carefully consider each potential Network of Hyperacute Stroke Care leading to the identification of the best possible Network for NI. It is intended that this will result in the identification of a preferred Network by Summer 2025. Further information on the process is available on the Hyperacute Stroke Care page.

It is crucial that the lived experience of stroke helps shape this process. Working as part of the Hyperacute Stroke Project Board, together with policy and professional leads from across the health system, you can help shape the future of hospital-based stroke services.

Benefits to you

  • Working on regional improvements to care that matter to people, helping to shape and improve services;
  • Finding out more about how improvements in health care are made, influencing stroke experts and those who make decisions about stroke services;
  • Sharing your experience to improve stroke care and life after stroke;
  • Opportunities to meet with and hear the views of other people affected by stroke;
  • Developing your communication and planning skills.

We are looking for people who can:

  • Bring your views and perspectives as people with experience of stroke or as a carer of someone who has had a stroke;
  • Participate and contribute to discussions which are beyond your own personal and local experience;
  • Work respectfully and collaboratively in partnership with others, respecting their views and opinions in open and honest discussion;
  • Bring constructive and positive engagement and challenge;
  • Attend, prepare for and participate in meetings (with support if needed);
  • Read and absorb complex information (with support if needed);
  • Maintain strict confidentiality in respect of all discussions and information provided to you while working as a member of the Project Board.

To assist you in the role we will:

  • Provide an introduction and induction to Hyperacute Stroke Care, including current services, the benefits of reform and the work of the Project Board, taking time to answer your questions;
  • Provide a direct point of contact within the Department;
  • Provide access to a wider network of service users and carers in partnership with community and voluntary organisations;
  • Provide you with ongoing support and adjustments as required during the process, including with accessibility needs;
  • Provide you with reasonable training as appropriate to support your contribution throughout the process;
  • Reimburse reasonable expenses directly related to the work of the Project Board;
  • Ensure all relevant information and papers for the meetings are provided in a suitable format and are distributed at least one week in advance. We will print hard copies of papers as required.

In addition to the support provided by the Department, support will also be available from the Stroke Association and NI Chest Heart and Stroke throughout the process.

Skills and experience

Applications are invited from residents of Northern Ireland aged 18 or over with the following lived experience:

  • Experience of emergency hospital-based stroke services in Northern Ireland within the past 3 years as a person with direct experience of stroke or a carer of someone who has had a stroke;
  • Experience of respectfully discussing and communicating your view, working constructively with others as part of a group;
  • A positive and solution/task focused outlook and an ability to be objective;
  • An interest in improving healthcare and an ability to consider a range of information (you will be supported in this as required);
  • Commitment to open and inclusive discussion including asking and being asked questions; and
  • Commitment to maintaining confidentiality.

Time commitment

The Project Board meets four times per year for approximately two hours each time. Where possible, these meetings are in person in Castle Buildings, Stormont Estate; however, it will also be possible to join virtually where required. In addition to participation in meetings, it is expected that members will commit some time to prepare for and review papers relevant to each meeting. Papers will be provided in a suitable format for all members.

It is envisaged that the Project Board will complete its work by Summer 2025.

Application process

Applications are invited from residents of Northern Ireland aged 18 or over with experience of hospital-based stroke services in Northern Ireland within the last 3 years as a stroke survivor or carer. Please complete the application at https://consultations2.nidirect.gov.uk/doh-1/application-to-join-the-hyperacute-stroke-project. Alternatively, if you require paper copies, or need assistance completing the form please email StrokeReform@health-ni.gov.uk  or contact 02890 520417. Applications should be submitted by Wednesday 12th June.

Applications will be considered by a Panel comprising the Department of Health, the Stroke Association and NI Chest Heart and Stroke. Short-listed applicants will then be invited to discuss the role further with members of the Panel where there will be an opportunity to ask questions.

It is hoped that the successful applicants will be informed in early July 2024 before plans are made for the next meeting of the Project Board in late July or early August.

Additional opportunities

In addition to membership of the Project Board, there will be additional opportunities to have your views heard throughout the process, to identify a preferred Hyperacute Stroke Care Network. Please indicate on your application form if you consent to your details being retained for these purposes.

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