Service challenges and priorities at Letterkenny University Hospital for 2020 outlined

Hospital enjoyed a number of service developments

Service challenges and priorities at Letterkenny University Hospital for 2020 outlined

Letterkenny University Hospital

Service developments, pressure and priorities at Letterkenny University Hospital were outlined on Friday when the recently appointed CEO of the Saolta Group, Tony Canavan visited for a number of meetings.


Both he and Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) manager, Sean Murphy met Oireachtas and Health Forum members on the progress relating to the hospital re-build projects which have now all been completed as well as the hospital and group’s plans for winter 2019-20.

CEO of the Saolta Group, Tony Canavan

Mr Murphy revealed they had to deal with a number of service pressures over the year including a 3.3% (1.030) increase in emergency department attendances as well as a 9% increase (635) in emergency medical admissions.


He also expressed concerns about the community capacity they had supporting discharges and demands on their out-patient and elective surgery services.


He pointed out that they had needs within their capital development programme for a renal unit extension; maternity theatre; in-patient capacity; an endoscopy unit as well as ancillary services.


He added their priorities for 2020 would include the implementation of the winter planning initiatives; maintaining the existing level of service in the HSE service plan; enhancing integration between acute and community health organisations; improving the capacity and processes in emergency care; commissioning the acute stroke unit; reducing waiting times for elective care, the commissioning of the interventional radiology suite and the second CT scanner.

Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH) manager, Sean Murphy

Mr Murphy said other priorities included the commissioning of the maternity theatre; the expansion of the Team Midwifery Model of Care, the delivery of EndoBronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) service; progress the Renal extension project; further develop the Urology service; enhance the role of LUH in the context of the Saolta clinical strategy and improve staff recruitment and retention.


But it wasn't all challenges.


He said the hospital enjoyed a number of service developments over the past year:


December 2018 - The opening of the new Discharge Lounge;


January 2019 - The commissioning of a state of the art Simulator for Medical Education; the opening of the Butterfly Room in the maternity unit for bereaved parents;


February - The launch of the Centre for Personalised Medicine Cross-Border Research Project;


March -  NAS Electronic Ambulance Handover System implemented; Text Messaging Reminder System implemented for out-patient appointments; 


June - Short stay ward opened (10 beds); Dermatology Phototherapy service; 


July - Consultant Urologist appointed on cross-border contract


August - Radiology rebuild completed including two CT and Interventional Radiology suite; Consultant Paediatrician Dr Khafil Shadani appointed; New mammography machine commissioned in Symptomatic Breast Unit


September - Mortuary refurbishment complete


October - New Consultant Gastroenterologist; Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Heart Failure approved under Slaintecare funding;


November - LUH selected as candidate for European Magnetic Hospital project


December - Consultant Colo-rectal surgeon, Mr Kenneth Oakinham to take up post.

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