Donegal Action for Cancer Care has expressed its shocked at learning that a total of 1783 Donegal women are waiting to be seen at Letterkenny Hospital.
The group said the situation is “just not good enough.”
DACC has since contacted Mr Sean Murphy General Manager Letterkenny Hospital & to the CEO of the Saolta University Hospital Group.
Their correspondence has also been sent to Minister for Health Simon Harris TD.
The group said they must acknowledge the quick response of all.
Below is an update on the Gynae Service at Letterkenny Hospital and the breakdown of the waiting list as we had requested.
Spokesperson Betty Holmes said “It is important that we DACC share this information. It is important to note that the hospital has commenced the process of recruiting a fifth Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and it is anticipated that this post will be advertised in the coming weeks.”
Below is a reply from Mr Sean Murphy General Manager LUH received by DACC.
Letterkenny University Hospital has seen its gynaecology waiting list rise over the last 5 years, in line with the increase nationally.
If a person is waiting for an outpatient appointment to see a gynaecologist, this could be for a number of reasons, such as investigation or treatment of pelvic pain, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, menopause, infertility, polycystic ovarian disease, etc.
Letterkenny University Hospital regrets that any patient should experience long waiting times to access an outpatient appointment. Hospital management and the gynaecology team have been working to reduce the length of time women wait to be seen in the gynaecology service and most importantly, ensure that high risk referrals are seen promptly.
In 2018 the hospital commenced a dedicated Post Menopausal Bleeding Clinic. This clinic is additional to the normal Gynaecology Clinics and was developed to target women with symptoms that may indicate a risk of endometrial cancer. Since its commencement 164 women have been seen in this clinic, including all those patients on the waiting list with post menopausal bleeding symptoms prior to the clinic starting.
Given that post menopausal bleeding is a clinically established risk indicator for endometrial cancer, this specialist clinic has been set up to provide GPs with urgent access for patient with these symptoms. The waiting time to be seen in the clinic is 2 to 4 weeks to ensure that women receive a prompt diagnosis.
Other actions underway to address the waiting list include:
· Letterkenny University Hospital has commenced the process of recruiting a fifth Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and it is anticipated that this post will be advertised in the coming weeks.
· The hospital is also working with the National Treatment Purchase Fund to secure funding for additional Gynaecology Clinics to reduce the number of patients waiting over 15 months.
· In July, the hospital introduced a text reminder service for Gynaecology Outpatient appointments to assist in reducing the number of patients who fail to attend their appointment. An average 6 patients fail to attend the each of the Gynaecology Clinics, which has an impact on the waiting list.