Fifteen complaints lodged about gynae services at LUH

FIFTEEN complaints have been lodged about gynaecology services at Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) since the start of last year.
According to figures obtained by the Donegal News through a Freedom of Information request nine complaints were lodged about the service in 2020 followed by six so far this year.
Last month the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) published a review into the gynaecology service at the hospital which found that despite additional staffing and funding resources being given to address serious failings further improvements are needed to safeguard women in Donegal.
HIQA’s review was carried out following incidents of delayed diagnosis of endometrial cancer which led to the publication of a damning HSE report in August 2020. The Price report found women who suffered delayed cancer diagnosis were wrongly triaged and not booked in for follow up appointments in some cases.
HIQA’s review also found weaknesses in governance structures and processes at the hospital and that weaknesses of oversight quality assurance mechanisms at the Saolta Health Care Group remain.
On the back of this Saolta engaged NHS Scotland to bring in an independent external team to review management and governance at Letterkenny hospital.
Saolta also sought the expertise of Professor John Connaghan CBE, the former Director General of the HSE who replaced Tony O’Brien after the cervical cancer scandal in 2018.
Prof Connaghan formerly served as the Chief Executive of NHS Scotland on an interim basis and now holds the position of Chair of a major health board, NHS Lothian which covers the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, and is responsible for 21 hospitals.
Last month Saolta CEO, Mr Tony Canavan confirmed that a meeting was taking place with the NHS to discuss plans to bring the external team to Letterkenny which had previously been delayed because of high Covid-19 levels in Scotland.
The Donegal News requested an update after this meeting but was told that the Health Care Group would be making no further comment.
“The Saolta University Health Care Group is keenly aware of the need for strong governance structures across all services in our hospitals and the wider group. We have commenced a process to identify and engage a team to support the roll out of further service improvement in LUH and the Saolta Group. This remains a work in progress and we will make no further comment while this process is underway,” a spokesperson said.

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