SAOLTA CLAIMS IT IS COMMITTED TO CANCER SERVICES IN DONEGAL – FULL STATEMENT

first_imgThe group responsible for overseeing breast cancer services at Letterkenny General Hospital has issued a statement on the issue.The Saolta University Health Care Group has outlined what the claim is the facts on the matter.It also gives a breakdown on the statistics and how it is trying to cope with the backlog of cancer referrals. They claim they are committed to maintaining cancer services at Letterkenny General Hospital.This is their statement in full.Background to the Symptomatic Breast Cancer ServiceWhen GP referrals are received into a Symptomatic Breast Unit ‘Triple Assessment Clinic’ such as the one at Letterkenny General Hospital they are triaged into two groups: 1 Urgent – These patients are to be seen within 10 workings days as per the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Guidelines2 Routine – These patients should be seen within 84 days as per the NCCP Guidelines.Over the course of 2014, on average Letterkenny General Hospital saw 70% of its urgent referrals within the 2-week target and 61% of routine referrals within the 12-week target.The priority for Saolta University Health Care Group – Letterkenny General Hospital remains the appointments for patients who meet the criteria for an urgent appointment and these are all being given appointments at LGH.Routine Referrals The longest waiting patients for routine referrals have been contacted over the past weeks and offered appointments at LGH.In addition to these patients, there is a second group of patients waiting who are also outside the recommended waiting time of 84 days.Sixty-five of these patients are now being contacted and offered an appointment at University Hospital Galway to avoid them having to wait any longer.They are being informed that they may opt to wait for a later appointment in Letterkenny but they are being clinically advised to take the earlier appointment in Galway. Mr Tony Canavan, Chief Operating Officer of Saolta University Health Care Group, stated, “As we do not have the capacity to deal with all referrals locally in Letterkenny in a timely manner, we are re-introducing the availability of support services from Galway and we would encourage all patients to avail of the first appointment that is on offer.“Saolta University Health Care Group – Letterkenny General Hospital regrets the distress that these longer waiting times have caused to patients. We are re-introducing these support services from UHG to ensure that all patients will be seen within the recommended time frames.“There is a validation exercise currently taking place around the waiting lists at the Symptomatic Breast Service at Letterkenny General Hospital. However, as there is a clinical requirement that patients who have been waiting longer than the recommended time-frame be seen as soon as possible, we decided to contact these sixty-five patients to offer them an appointment even before the waiting list validation exercise is complete.“The provision of appointments at UHG is part of the support services that Saolta University Health Care Group is providing to the Symptomatic Breast Service at Letterkenny General Hospital.“Among the other measures that were put in place were additional clinics provided by LGH breast cancer service as well as the recruitment of a locum consultant breast surgeon who ran three clinics recently, seeing 60 women per clinic. Saolta University Health Care Group – Letterkenny General Hospital also plans to run extra clinics in addition to those normally run by the current surgeon. Agreement has also been reached to recruit GP support to the service to also address some of the pressures being experienced and this recruitment process has started.“Saolta University Health Care Group – Letterkenny General Hospital will continue to support the Letterkenny Symptomatic Breast Disease Unit as part of its cancer services. It will be putting measures in place such as the appointment locally of an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, and will also ensure the further integration of the service across the Group.“As part of that integration, the Group is finalising plans to centralise the referral process for its symptomatic breast service. Currently referral letters are sent to Letterkenny and to Galway and it is proposed to centralise the assessment of these letters in Galway. The aim is to have a standardised referral process across the Saolta cancer service to ensure that patients in the west are receiving a similar, equitable level of care, regardless of their county of origin. The centralisation of the referral process will involve the triage (prioritising) of all referral letters in Galway.“I must emphasise that this is not a centralisation of the appointments and we expect that most patients in the vicinity of LGH will be seen at LGH, except – as outlined above – when situations arise where patients are waiting too long for an appointment.“We believe that this is in the best interests of women in the west, and will enhance the service on both sites and will help to ensure the future for the service in Letterkenny.“It will also mean that we can avoid having significant capacity problems in one location while we have available capacity in another.”Mr Maurice Power, chief executive of Saolta University Health Care Group says Saolta University Health Care Group is committed to maintaining the cancer service at LGH and will work to ensure that all necessary steps are put in place to ensure that any impact on patients is minimised.“Letterkenny General Hospital has an important part to play within the Group in the provision of services and the re-building and full re-commissioning of the hospital after the recent floods remains a top priority for the Group.“In a meeting facilitated by the offices of Ministers McHugh and Varadkar, we will be meeting next Friday (Feb 27) with officials from the Department of Health and the National Cancer Control Programme and with various stakeholders and we look forward to the opportunity to underline the Group’s support for LGH.“Senior management from the Saolta University Health Care Group – Letterkenny General Hospital will also be meeting local public representatives early next week.”SAOLTA CLAIMS IT IS COMMITTED TO CANCER SERVICES IN DONEGAL – FULL STATEMENT was last modified: February 25th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:cancer servicesdonegalSaoltalast_img

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