The angiogram service at Letterkenny University Hospital has been saved, it has been confirmed.
The service was due to stop this summer after an independent private operator announced it was pulling out.
However, new measures have been secured to allow the service to be run directly by staff at the hospital.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine and Donegal T.D., Charlie McConalogue, this morning confirmed that Donegal would not be left without angiogram services from the 1st July 2022.
Minister McConalogue said he has been in contact with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and leadership in LUH and the Saolta Group to ensure the service would continue.
Commenting on the announcement, the Minister said “It is crucially important for the people of Donegal that an angiogram service is provided at Letterkenny University Hospital. I am happy to confirm that following discussions, the service will continue to be available in LUH. Over the last number of weeks there has been significant engagement between Saolta and LUH to assess the capacity of the hospital to provide the angiogram service by the hospital itself.”
He continued “I am grateful to the support and engagement from my Cabinet colleague Minister Donnelly on this issue. That fact that the service will now be offered in Letterkenny hospital is a testament to the quality of the cardiology services and staff of the hospital and is a result of the foresight and work of hospital staff and management working closely with the Friends of Letterkenny Hospital charity who invested in and provided equipment in recent years which ensured the new Radiology unit was in place. That infrastructure is now what enables the angiogram service to be provided in house.
“Thank you to Cllrs Ciaran Brogan and Gerry Crawford for their tireless work on highlighting this issue and for ensuring that this issue was raised through the regional health forum. It is crucial that any service that can be provided locally is provided locally and this result is an example of Letterkenny hospital looking to provide all services possible Donegal and the North West Region. ”
Donegal Sinn Féin TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has given the news that angiography services will continue at Letterkenny University Hospital a guarded welcome. The Deputy stated that the overall cardiac services at the hospital are still under threat and awaiting the outcome of the National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services due to be published in the months ahead.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “The decision to withdraw angiography services at Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) was a disgraceful one and I welcome the confirmation that the service has been restored for now at today’s meeting with the CEO of the Saolta Hospital Group, Tony Canavan and the Manager of LUH, Sean Murphy.
“However, this is only a temporary decision and they stated that this is all subject to the outcome of the National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services due to be published in the months ahead.”
Deputy MacLochlainn continued: “The truth is that our cardiac services at LUH are still under threat. I repeated my call at the meeting for the Saolta Hospital Group and the HSE to actively seek to deliver cross border specialist cardiac services at LUH for the people of the North West cross border region of Donegal, Derry, and West Tyrone in the same way that the North West Cancer Centre based in Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry serves the entire region.
“I want to see an ambitious plan for cardiac services and other health services at our major county hospital in Letterkenny, the sixth largest in this State. The government needs to actively pursue this and not allow our vital services to be sent away, time after time to Galway and Dublin with all the distress and huge cost that this causes to patients and their families in Donegal”.