NEWS

'Friends' raise €7 million over the past 27 years for Letterkenny University Hospital

Helps fund various service developments

Connie Duffy

Reporter:

Connie Duffy

Email:

connie.duffy@donegaldemocrat.ie

'Friends' raise €7 million over the past 27 years for Letterkenny University Hospital

Just some of the new equipment at Letterkenny University Hospital

The group, Friends of Letterkenny University Hospital, (LUH), has raised over €7 million over the past 27 years to fund various service developments in the hospital.

When large parts of LUH were extensively damaged in the flood in July 2013, opportunities arose to reconfigure and develop new services within the hospital in the post-flood recovery period.

While significant capital investment was provided by the HSE to refurbish and recover the areas in the hospital that were destroyed, there were gaps in funding between essential replacement and service development works.

The Friends of LUH were happy to step in to the breach. The radiology and cardiology departments were identified by hospital management as two areas that merited development.

The Friends agreed to fund the procurement of a second CT scanner for the radiology department in the hospital. It was delivered and commissioned in February 2018, all funded by the Friends of LUH to the value of €450,000.

LUH is now the only category three hospital in the country with two functional CT scanners. It facilitated a safe transition of diagnostic services during the renovation of radiology, it ensures, in future a continuum of diagnostic services during breakdown and essential service maintenance periods and ultimately in time will increase diagnostic capacity in the hospital.

In relation to the cardiology department, the Friends agreed to fund the procurement of an interventional unit/cardiac catherisation suite. This equipment was delivered to the hospital in September of this year to the value of €750,000, all funded by the Friends of LUH.

When this equipment is commissioned for use, it will enable both consultant radiologists and consultant cardiologists to perform both interventional and diagnostic procedures under optimum conditions locally for patients in Donegal.

Currently, these services are provided in a combination of temporary accommodation, mobile units and via external hospitals.

The Friends of LUH has a very successful track record of fund-raising for service development opportunities in LUH where capital funding is not forthcoming from central funding.

"We have very generous corporate donors, we get a lot of unsolicited and solicited donations and we organise our own fund-raising events. This is how we have been able to raise over €7 million over the past 27 years to fund various service developments in the hospital, all for the benefit of the people of County Donegal," a spokesperson said.

If you wish to keep up to date with the activities of the Friends of LUH, please refer to its Facebook page or website www.thefriends.ie