ED review underway after patient safety concerns

By Dionne Meehan

A SIX week review of Letterkenny University Hospital’s Emergency Department got underway on Friday following concerns for patient safety.

This comes after 78 GPs, subsequently backed by 11 consultants, sent written correspondence to the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly imploring him to take urgent action at the hospital’s emergency department amid ‘service collapse’ fears.


They called on the minister and senior officials to step in and have an external review of the emergency department carried out and an action plan put in place regarding access to the department and acute services.

Speaking to the Donegal News on Friday following a meeting with the Regional Health Forum, Tony Canavan, CEO of the Saolta University Health Care Group, confirmed that this review is now underway.

Particularly wanting to focus on the issue of trolley waits, he said the minister asked the HSE to engage the Performance Management and Improvement Unit to send a team into Letterkenny University Hospital.

“The PMIU were on site of Letterkenny University Hospital this morning (Friday) and had a meeting with management.

“The purpose of the meeting was to outline what their plans will be for the next five or six weeks.

“They will certainly be spending some time in the hospital.

“They will understand how the emergency department works and how the other departments within the hospital are functioning,” he said.


During the review, Mr Canavan said the team will look at all of the various figures that are examined on a day by day basis with regards to the emergency department.

“They will look, in particularly, at the work that we have been doing in Letterkenny and with Letterkenny over the last number of months to try and improve patient flow.

“I think what they will find is that the sum of what we have been doing is very good and is helping to improve the service being provided to patients,” he said.

Despite this, Mr Canavan said they may well find other areas where there is room for improvement.

“The review is likely to run for about six weeks,” he concluded.

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