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Ministers welcome “positive” meeting to address cancer care services at LGH

The North West Breast Centre clinic at Letterkenny General Hospital.

The North West Breast Centre clinic at Letterkenny General Hospital.

A MAJOR meeting held on Friday morning to address the serious concerns over cancer services at Letterkenny General Hospital resulted in “very positive dicussions” to address the challenges facing the unit.

Following the meeting, which was attended by Senior members of the Saotla University Hospital Group, HSE, NCCP, Department of Health as well as a number of Donegal cancer community groups and Oireachtas members, Minister for Health Leo Varadkar TD, and Minister of State Joe McHugh TD welcomed very positive discussions and agreements in addressing the current challenges facing the cancer care unit at the hospital.
It was agreed at the meeting that the application for a General Surgeon will be submitted by the end of April, appearing before the Committee in May; the re-advertising of two GP positions for the Unit to help support the current team;  the submission of a locum to be appointed from within the Saolta Group. Discussions will take place over the coming weeks regarding the arrangements for that locum.

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It was also confirmed that the process of recruiting an Advanced Nurse Practitioner for the unit had commenced. This post has been approved with the aim of providing long term support to the Unit and was welcomed by those at the meeting.

Commenting on the meeting, Minister Varadkar, “I welcome the constructive outcomes from this meeting and commend all sides for working together in order to benefit both the women of Donegal who avail of the service, but also for the staff. These measures will ensure the long term sustainability of the important services. “

Also commenting on the meeting, Minister of State Joe McHugh TD, “I wold also like to thank those who attended this morning’s meeting. There was a genuine spirit for joint cooperation from all the relevant parties today and the commitments given by both the Saolta Group, and the HSE in terms of supporting the long term viability of the hospital is both a welcome relief for those who avail of the service but also to the women of Donegal and the staff at the hospital who work so hard.”

In addressing the current backlog at the hospital, assurances were given that the current waiting list for referral patients would be cleared by the beginning of April and the Saolta Group again reiterated their firm commitment to the services continuing at LGH while encouraging continued cooperation between LGH and Galway University Hospital.

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