From this month patients from the Donegal area have been attending varicose vein clinics in Letterkenny General Hospital.
The new vascular service is a cross border health initiative, with Mr Zola Mzimba, Consultant Vascular Surgeon with the Western Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland, providing regular out-patient clinics and also day surgery at the hospital.
Funding for the new vascular service was secured from the European Union’s INTERREG IVA programme by Co-operation and Working Together (CAWT), the cross border health and social care partnership.
Welcoming the benefits this new service is bringing to patients in the HSE West area, Sean Murphy, General Manager, Letterkenny General Hospital said: “We are delighted to be working in close partnership with our near neighbours in the Western Trust so that we can offer our patients access to more high quality services in their local hospital.
“We have been able to use this welcome additional EU investment to further reduce our vascular waiting lists by utilising the expertise of well-established services, next door to us, in the Western Trust. Feedback from patients has been very positive.”
Commenting, Zola Mzimba, Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Western Trust highlighted the feedback he is receiving from patients, said: “We are using the latest technology to treat varicose veins, using methods that reduce pain, length of stay and the recuperation time postoperatively at Letterkenny General Hospital.
“Patients are delighted to be able to access local surgical treatment closer to where they live, which is more convenient and reduces travel times.”
Margaret Brennan (3rd from left) from Creeslough in Co. Donegal who was the first patient to receive surgery through the new vascular service provided at Letterkenny General Hospital. Pictured (left to right): Zola Mzimba, Consultant Vascular Surgeon, Western Trust; Joan Frisby, Clinical Nurse Manager, Day Services, Letterkenny General Hospital; Margaret Brennan, patient; Michelle Kavanagh, Staff Nurse and Sean Murphy, General Manager, Letterkenny General Hospital