Fine Gael TD for Donegal North East, Joe McHugh, has today (Friday) confirmed that all services provided by Letterkenny General Hospital prior to last month’s flooding disaster will be fully restored. He was speaking following discussions at the hospital yesterday afternoon with Bill Maher, Chief Executive of HSE West.
“I can confirm today that all services previously provided at Letterkenny General Hospital are to be restored as they were before last month’s flash flooding of the hospital. This was confirmed to me at a meeting in the hospital yesterday with Mr Bill Maher, CEO of HSE West, and with Seán Murphy, Manager of Letterkenny General Hospital. It has also been confirmed that the planned new endoscopy unit, funding for which was announced in early July, will be put in place as intended prior to the flooding.
“I am confident in the capabilities of hospital management, staff, patients and the community to overcome the enormous challenges that face us over the next nine months. The task for Letterkenny General Hospital is to deliver high quality health services at a site that will be under refurbishment. This will involve unavoidable disruption for patients and staff, which must be minimised.
“I know from speaking with people working in the hospital and from speaking with people in the community, that they do not want a rushed job. It is important that the refurbished building will be fit for purpose, and that last month’s disaster will never happen again. This work is already underway with design, engineering and architectural teams being appointed. It is also encouraging that local sub-contractors are working on the construction of temporary accommodation for A&E services at the hospital, a number of whom I met at the hospital yesterday.
“At yesterday’s meeting, I also made the point very strongly that the people of Donegal want answers as to why the hospital flooded last month. There must be full accountability and disclosure. The independent engineer’s professional assessment is much awaited.
“I also raised public concerns about kitchen services at the hospital. HSE Management assures me that a new state-of-the-art kitchen will be fully constructed.
“I am in continuous contact with the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly TD, about the hospital. Minister Reilly has visited Letterkenny General Hospital twice since last month’s disaster, and he is monitoring the situation closely.
“It is encouraging for the people of Donegal that existing services will be restored and secured, and that plans to roll out further additional services remain in place.”