The HSE has agreed to examine the feasibility of proposals to establish a pilot project aimed at providing community based ultra sound services at Dungloe Community Hospital.
The confirmation is contained in a written reply issued by the HSE in response to a letter from Deputy Pearse Doherty in which he argued for the potential merits of offering extended imaging services at the hospital’s radiology department.
Reacting to the news, Deputy Doherty said approval has been granted for a brand new X-Ray Imaging machine to be installed at Dungloe hospital.
“This development was very much welcomed at the time as it was felt that the upgrade would ensure that patients could continue to receive a safe, efficient and reliable service locally.
“It was after this announcement, and after having consulted with hospital staff, that I decided to write to both hospital management and the HSE to suggest that authorities examine the potential of expanding existing imaging services and technologies currently available at Dungloe in order to develop community based Ultra-sound services.
“In the letter, I argued that such a community based pilot project could have the potential to alleviate the obvious pressures on radiology services at Letterkenny University Hospital.’
“While I further stated in my letter that I fully understood that such a venture would of course need to be subject to the necessary clinical approvals, and that it must also be considered in the context of budgetary as well other constraints, I was keen to stress the many benefits which such a service could yield for service users and staff alike.
“This week I was happy to have received a reply from HSE in which it has been confirmed that, having received my letter, Management has now formally initiated discussions surrounding the possibility of establishing an ultra sound service based in Dungloe hospital, with Management citing the considerable travel distance to Letterkenny for those coming from the West of the County as an important factor in its decision.
“I understand that the HSE is prepared to examine the feasibility of the project and will assess it further before it makes a final decision as to whether or not to proceed.
“While this project remains at a very early stage, I think the fact that management has agreed to further examine the proposals is a very welcome development and demonstrates that there is a willingness on the part of the authorities to consider practical and worthwhile initiatives such as this.
“I shall of course continue to work with the HSE, management and all stakeholders and to make myself available with the view to further progress this project which could make a real and positive difference to service delivery locally.”
“Following a number of separate interventions by myself over the last number of months, we’ve already seen the restoration of maternity clinics as well as the allocation of a new x-ray machine for Dungloe hospital, and it’s against this background of recent successes that I shall continue to work to support this important facility.”