LETTERKENNY General Hospital’s gynaecology ward will be closed in three weeks time, donegaldaily.com has learned.
The decision has already been taken with the HSE fighting a rearguard PR battle by insisting that services have not been axed – just that the ward has closed.
But it IS the ward that nursing staff and patients want to keep.
It has gained a fantastic reputation over many years for the way it treats cancer victims and even victims of sexual assaults.
The Irish Nurses & Midwives Organisation met senior management at the hospital yesterday.
The union was told that managers had no choice but to redeploy staff to the new €20M medical unit which is due to open in mid-September.
Services currently provided at the gynaecology ward will be offered instead in the new extension at the hospital.
But there will be an end to the ‘female only’ status of wards, sources have told us.
Members of staff at Letterkenny General are banned from talking to the media but we have been inundated with angry emails over the past 48 hours.
“We cannot disagree with the need to open this new facility but at what cost?” said one member of staff.
“Is the dignity of the women of this county so dispensable?”
We understand the HSE will now go on a public relations drive.
An internal memo suggests that the HSE should put emphasis on the the fact that services are being retained, just in a different environment.
This however will not satisfy patients and nurses, but it appears there’s nothing they can do as the decision has already been taken – with discussions on the implementation of this proposal said to have taken place up to three months ago.