Minister of State Joe McHugh TD has said he has spoken to the Health Minister on the flooding at Letterkenny General Hospital and both want answers.
“I was in contact last night with Minister Leo Varadkar and was speaking with him this morning in relation to the flood water at Letterkenny General Hospital. I have requested from the Minister the full assistance of the HSE services in ensuring that the hospital’s ability to treat and care for patients is not disrupted further as a result,” said Minister McHugh.
“I welcome the Minister’s confirmation this morning that an investigation has commenced into the flooding and that the conclusions of the investigation will be published and a review of the current flood management strategy will be carried out in light of the new findings.
“I have also spoken to a number of officials on the ground, including the Hospital General Manager, Sean Murphy, and it is clear following these discussions, and in light of the flooding last night, that there are real concerns around water entering the building and the potential damage this could have, both to the building itself and the medical equipment and material within the building.
“I believe that while many questions need to be asked, including the thinking behind the location choice for the current A&E and why it was chosen, it is important that we allow the investigation to be carried out in full and those findings published, rather than jumping to conclusions now. It is also important to note that the clinical areas in the emergency department were not affected by flood water or damages.
“I want to commend the hard work and diligent efforts of the emergency response units last night, who worked tirelessly throughout yesterday evening and the night to ensure the water was cleared as quickly as possible with as little disruption as possible to the essential medical services provided by the staff at the hospital.”
The Minister for Health has confirmed that the West/ North West Hospitals Group has been granted “planning permission from Donegal County Council for the construction of a new storm flow routing pipe and associated works at Letterkenny General Hospital”.
Minister Varadkar this morning has confirmed that “The investigation is obviously at a very early stage but the culvert was not blocked. Last year (on July 26) the main cause of the flooding incident was the fact that the screens became blocked and prevented water from entering the culvert causing the Sprackburn Tributary to overflow, wiping out 40% of the floor space of LGH and eliminating more than 70% of the hospital’s capacity at that time. Last night’s damage was considerably less than last year’s and the ED was re-opened after three hours with no other hospital services affected.”