DEPUTY Thomas Pringle described as “shocking” a press release he was sent by the HSE which gave the impression specialist diabetes nurses were being employed in Donegal and 16 other centres.
Believing the press release to be a ‘good news story’ for the county he issued it though his office, welcoming the news.
However the Donegal News has learned that while the HSE say they are recruiting the 17 Integrated Care Diabetes Nurse Specialists, no one has actually been offered the job in Letterkenny even though the interviews were held in November.
While the Independent deputy from Killybegs was accused of “jumping on the bandwagon” for issuing the press statement by a spokesperson from Diabetes Ireland, the TD said he will be taking the issue up immediately with local HSE management.
It was Dr Anna Clarke of Diabetes Ireland who pointed out that interviews for these critical posts were held back in November. She wanted the HSE to confirm that the Donegal job had now actually been allocated.
The Donegal News asked the HSE “if anyone has actually been offered this post for the Donegal Region since the interviews were held last year?”
The HSE response was “As you know we cannot discuss personnel matters. In relation to Letterkenny General Hospital, the recruitment process for this post is currently underway.”
Dr Clarke said it would appear the post has not been allocated as the HSE have declined to confirm the post has been offered.
“We are no further forward. If further significant delays are permitted, there will be a direct negative impact on diabetes care right around the country,” Dr Clarke added.
Last week the Donegal News reported that over the two year period 2010-11 a shocking 58 people from Donegal underwent a diabetes related lower limb amputation – one of the tragic and costly possible complications of the condition which a new HSE healthcare approach called integrated care should aim to reduce.
Approximately 9,000 people in Donegal have diabetes, most have Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). A spokesperson for Diabetes Action stated, however, that people with T2D don’t get the care they need and they don’t get it early enough. Meanwhile, life-limiting complications associated with the condition are at a record high.
An angry Deputy Pringle said engaging in stunts like issuing that press release was not productive.
“Delaying the appointment of these much-needed diabetes specialist nurses is a false economy – by saving money on staff in the long term it will cost more to treat the patients.
“It is shocking to learn that the interviews for these posts were held last November – we are now almost in June. I will be taking it up with local HSE management immediately. Obviously the answer to whether or not someone has been given the job is no,” he added.
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