HIQA to publish Letterkenny ‘gynae’ review in October

A REVIEW of gynaecology services at Letterkenny University Hospital by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is now in its final stages and will be published in October. The health watchdog announced in April that it had begun the review to ensure the HSE, Saolta University Healthcare Group and LUH are implementing recommendations of an earlier external review which found serious failings within the hospital’s gynaelcology services. It found women who suffered delayed cancer diagnosis were wrongly triaged and not booked in for follow up appointments in some cases.
Women who have concerns regarding their treatment that have any information they feel is relevant to HIQA’s review can get in contact with them in confidence.
A HIQA spokesperson told the Donegal News this week: “HIQA is in the final stages of concluding the review of gynaecology services at Letterkenny University Hospital. It should be noted that HIQA does not have a remit for the investigation of individual cases of patient care, and it is the responsibility of the HSE to conduct such investigations into the care of individual women, However HIQA would be happy to consider any information that women feel may be of relevant to our review as it relates to gynaecology services in finalising our evaluation.
“HIQA may be contacted in confidence at should any women wish to highlight any matters that they consider to be of relevance to the review team. HIQA now expects to conclude and publish the report from this review in October, having first taken the necessary time to fully consider all of the relevant information gathered during the course of the review.”
Minutes from the hospital’s Quality and Patient Safety Advisory Committee obtained through a Freedom of Information request show that at a meeting of the Committee in April those in attendance were told that the HIQA review was “a significant review with high level scrutiny”. Staff were also told of the upcoming onsite inspection by HIQA and that they would need to provide documentation ahead of the visit. At the committee meeting on May 11 the hospital were thanked for providing all the documentation requested and were congratulated on meeting HIQA’s deadline for submission.
The second stage of the review, which was scheduled to conclude on May 15, included the inspection of gynae ambulatory care, the gynae ward, the maternity ward, gynae patient charts, GP and patient surveys of the Postmenopausal bleeding (PMB) Clinic and staff interviews. Following this a continued review of documentation would take place, interviews at Saolta and National level and requests for further documentation could follow.

A draft report of the review will first be provided to the hospital for factual accuracy before the final report is published in October.

Commenting on  progress in implementing the recommendations of the external review a Saolta spokesperson said: “Saolta University Health Care Group, working closely with the HSE’s Women’s and Infant’s Health Programme Office, commissioned an external of the “Review of Gynaecology Service with a Particular Focus on Post-Menopausal Bleeding Pathways” at Letterkenny University Hospital in 2020.
“The Review Team involved a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist together with a Senior Nurse and Midwife, external to the Group, to assess the quality and safety of Gynaecology Services in the hospital. The review made six recommendations, a special measures team was initiated on site at LUH to work with the local team with oversight from the Women’s and Children’s Managed Clinical and Academic Network, the Saolta Executive and a HSE national oversight group.
“Very significant and measurable progress has been made to implement the recommendations since last autumn and this work is ongoing.”

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